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KUWAIT CITY, Jan 19: Minister of Health Dr. Khaled Al- Saeed on Wednesday vowed to employ his long expertise in child medicine to overhaul the Public Authority for Disability Affairs. The minister was replying to a statement by an MP, during today’s following-up session of the National Assembly, regarding the authority’s tasks. “I will do my best to resolve problems and remove obstacles facing our citizens of special needs so they may attain their rights,” the minister assured the MPs. Dr. Al-Saeed expressed solidarity with this segment of the society, pledging to follow up on all affairs concerning them. He also promised to protect public funds and warned that he would seek legal measures against offenders.
The National Assembly on Wednesday discussed the incoming letters, parliamentary queries, replies of the concerned ministers, complaints and petitions of citizens, and MPs’ reply to the speech of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah during the innauguration of the second parliamentary round. At the beginning, Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim adjourned the session for 30 minutes due to lack of quorum and then the session resumed at 9:30 am.
Assistant Secretary General Khalid Al-Mutairi read the names of those present, as well as those who excused from attending the session as follows: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Hamad Jaber Al-Ali, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Ahmad Nasser Al-Muhammad, Minister of Justice Jamal Al-Jalawi, Deputy Speaker MP Ahmed Al-Shuhoumi and MP Yousef Al-Ghareeb.
MP Abdulkareem Al-Kandari called for accelerating the issuance of the Assembly‘s decision regarding the resignation of MP Abdullah Al-Kandari. MP Abdulkareem Al-Kandari said the two weeks deadline given to Al-Ghanim to persuade Abdullah Al-Kandari to reconsider his resignation is over, so the issue cannot stay without a decision forever. He said the vacant seat must be filled by holding supplementary elections in the Third Constituency. On the other hand, Al-Ghanim explained the decision was taken by the Assembly Office and it is being executed at present. He asked MP Abdulkareem Al-Kandari to submit a proposal to specify a date for deciding on the resignation.
The Assembly then proceeded with the approval of incoming letters as follows:
■ Request of several MPs to assign the Public Utilities Committee to investigate the consequences of the heavy rains that hit the country on Jan 2. The committee will submit its report before the current parliamentary round ends. MP Marzouq Al- Khalifa said the contractors and companies have become more powerful than the government. He advised Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Ali Al-Musa to study the lesson well; referring to former Minister Jenan Boursherih who, according to him, lost the office because of the infl uential contractors. He wondered why the parliamentary fact-finding committee assigned to investigate the rains in 2018 recommended rejecting a number of contracting companies; but later, the Council of Ministers allowed them to obtain public tenders.
■ Proposal of MP Muhammad Al- Hewaila to establish a residential area in West Hadiya and to hand over the Abu Halifa Park land to the Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) to be used for the housing project.
■ Allocate a special room at the Assembly building for the MPs infected with Covid-19 or any other virus; such that the MPs who did not undergo the PCR test can attend the sessions and participate in discussions and voting. Al-Ghanim disclosed that he sent a letter to Minister of Health Dr Khalid Al-Saed asking him to approve the request. He added the minister promised to reply in a couple of days. The minister said he referred the issue to the relevant department and the reply would be ready before the end of day (Wednesday).
■ Recommendation to assign the Environment Public Authority (EPA) to submit a report on the pollution and climate change in the country before the end of the current parliamentary round. Committee Chairman MP Hamad Al-Matar said the international community granted $3 billion to Kuwait for the environmental damages caused by the Iraqi invasion, but nothing has been done so far. He went on to say that the official responsible for this issue is not specialized in environment as the latter studied English Literature and keen on dismissing the efficient employees.
■ Proposal to implement the strategic salary scale alternative. MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji pointed out that the salaries and allowances granted to employees with the same qualifications are different from one institution to the other. He stressed the need to tackle such discrimination without reducing higher salaries, while increasing the low salaries. He explained that the required budget can be obtained if the ceiling of incentives and allowances for senior officials is specified — less than three times the basic salary.
■ Request of MP Abdulaziz Al- Saqaabi to refer the housing affairs bills from other parliamentary committees to the Housing Affairs Committee. He pointed out that this step will help expedite the completion of relevant reports to pave way for discussion and ratification. Assembly continued the MPs’ reply to the Amiri speech where MPs focused on the need to tackle essential issues like nationalizing jobs in public sector and competing corruption.
MP Homoud Mebrek Al Azmi stressed the importance of enhancing the cooperation between Executive and Legislation authorities and to use such cooperation for the interest of the citizens like finding job opportunities and conducting training courses for the youths as well as controlling the increasing prices and protecting consumer.
MP Al SaifiMubarak Al Saifistressed the importance of extending the authority of the judicial authority to judge the issues relevant to Kuwaiti citizenship adding that this is the way such essential issue will not be used as a tool of political quid pro quo and for electoral purposes. He called for increasing the social subsidy provided to widow and divorced women by 10 percent.
MP Osama Al Menawer highlighted the importance of competing corruption considering it the most dangerous issue. He said the gains of oil must not be invested by the producing institutions. He added that investing the gains by the institutions like Public Institution for Social Security PIFSS must stop and the gains must be transferred to public treasure and Public Reserve Fund. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff and Agencies