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Rights panel eyes granting more privileges to Bedoun – Jobs, health care, education discussed

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 26: The parliamentary Human Rights Committee on Thursday discussed bills on the civil and social rights of Bedouns with the representatives of the Central System for Remedying the Status of Illegal Residents (CSRSIR). Committee Chairman MP Jamal Al-Omar said they looked into the possibility of granting more privileges to Bedouns; including education, treatment, birth and death certificates, marriage contracts , divorce, driving license, jobs, ration cards, disability certificates and passports.

He said the panel also talked about the need to facilitate procedures for Bedouns and intensify efforts in addressing their problems. He disclosed the committee asked the CSRSIR to suggest ways to ensure that Bedouns are given jobs and other privileges for them to enjoy a comfortable life. He confirmed the CSRSIR briefed the committee on the plan to grant educational and medical benefits to Bedouns.

Meanwhile, MP Yusuf Al- Zalzalah expressed disappointment over the alleged failure of Communications Minister Issa Al-Kandari to respond to his queries on the violations in Kuwait Ports Authority (KPA). He pointed out this clearly indicates that the government does not want to respond because the alleged violations are true. If the minister fails to respond to the following questions, it only means he lacks the ability to improve the situation in KPA, the lawmaker added.

Al-Zalalah wants to know the number of ships in the anchorage as at Nov 24, 2015; names of big ships which waited for anchorage at Shuaiba Port from May 1 to Nov 20, 2015; longest waiting period for the ships in 2014; maximum period for off-loading and loading gravel (lime stones) in 2014; and maximum period for loading and off-loading gravel from April 1 to Nov 24, 2015.

He also asked about the reasons behind the cancellation of the tender for locomotives, if it is true KPA renewed the locomotive contracts of Shuwaikh and Shuaiba ports for six months, if the State Audit Bureau was consulted in this regard, justifications for renewal of these contracts, number of companies which transported gravel to Shuaiba Port, number of cranes in both ports, and number of cranes that broke down and idle as at Nov 24. He said KPA paid excellent job performance bonuses to most of its employees as per the decision of the board of directors, so he wants to know the reason for not granting the bonus to 10 employees. He requested for more information such as the terms and conditions for the payment of the bonus in 2015, complaints of the staff in various ports, and measures taken to address the complaints.

On another issue, MP Nabil Al-Fadel has forwarded questions to Oil Minister and State Minister for National Assembly Affairs Ali Al- Omair on the distribution of agricultural plots. He said the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) allocated agricultural plot numbers 29, 161 and 162 measuring 50,000 square meters each to certain companies; so he wants to know the companies’ activities, number of crops they produced and date of receiving the land. He also demanded for details about these companies and several others that committed violations.

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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