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KUWAIT CITY, Aug 22: MPs Fares Al-Otaibi, Muhammad Hayef, Hamad Al-Obaid, Mubarak Al-Tasha and Khalid Al-Otaibi have submitted a bill on organizing charities and public benefit associations. The bill specifies the activities of the above-mentioned organizations in and outside Kuwait; such as supporting the needy, implementing and contributing to humanitarian projects in different fields like education, rescue operations during disasters and wars, health and societal development.
Charities and public benefit associations are allowed to sign cooperation and partnership agreements with local and foreign public institutions, other similar entities, and international and regional organizations according to the regulations stipulated in the executive decree of the bill once ratified, and after obtaining approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
They are allowed to collect donations internally and externally for the implementation of licensed charitable projects. They can open branches in Kuwait or overseas after obtaining approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They are prohibited from engaging in any activities unless they obtain a license from the Ministry of Social Affairs, which will open a file for every charity or public benefit association. They ministry is obliged provide public institutions with copies of these files. The public can access these files on the official website of the ministry.
They are not allowed to implement projects or engage in activities that violate the relevant laws or public morals, collect donations for rescue operation purposes unless they obtain a license, engage in political activities, promote sectarianism, damage the social fabric, interfere in the internal affairs of countries where they carry out humanitarian work, or be involved in political and sectarian disputes. They are obligated to submit annual reports to the Ministry of Social Affairs and respond to the latter’s questions. They are also exempted from tax.
In order to obtain a license, a charity must consist of at least 50 Kuwaiti members above 21 years old who should not have been convicted of committing honor crimes unless they have completed rehabilitation. The license application must include the name of the charity or public benefit association, sources of money and financial audit method. The Ministry of Social Affairs has the authority to reject an application for the establishment of a charity or public benefit association, or demand for amendment of the organization’s basic structure. The ministry should respond within 60 days after submission of the application. The Board of Directors of a charity or public benefit association shall consist of five to 25 Kuwaiti members who should not receive salary for their work.
None of these members could provide services to the organization through their own business or company unless it is done free of charge. A board member should not occupy the same position in more than three charities or public benefit associations. Charities and public benefit associations are allowed to establish their own union whose regulations will be specified in the executive decree. Their sources of money include donations, grants, charities, Zakat, revenues from the assets and profitable projects of the organizations, and others approved by the Ministry of Social Affairs.
The money of charities and public benefit associations are transferred only through the banks accredited by the Central Bank of Kuwait. Charities and public benefit associations are subject to the oversight of the Social Affairs Ministry, which will assign inspectors with judicial arrest power to check these organizations during official working hour in order to review the files and documents, and then record violations if any. The Social Affairs minister has the authority to dismiss the Board of Directors for certain reasons and then assign an interim board. If the board is dissolved as per the decision of the minister, fresh elections should be conducted within one year. The Social Affairs minister has the power to dissolve a charity or public benefit association in the following cases: – the number of founding members is reduced by half unless the required number is achieved within 90 days, – failure to fulfill financial obligations, – violation of this law and involvement in illegal activities, – suspension of activities for more than one year without valid reasons.
If the organization is dissolved, its assets and money are transferred to Zakat House and Secretariat General of Awqaf at the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs. Whoever engages in charitable activities under the name of an unlicensed charity will be imprisoned for three years or fined KD3,000. Whoever collects donations without obtaining a permit from the Ministry of Social Affairs will be imprisoned for two years or fined KD2,000; and then the collected donations will be confiscated. Whoever engages in activities that violate the purpose of establishing a charity or concealed important information is imprisoned for one year or fined KD3,000. Whoever deliberately harms the funds of a charity is imprisoned for five years or fined KD5,000. The existing charities and public benefit associations must modify their status in order to meet the conditions stipulated in this bill and obtain a license within two years of implementation.
The law on collecting donations for public purposes enacted in 1959 is then cancelled. In another development, MP Muhammad Al- Mahan asked State Minister for Municipal and Communication Affairs Fahd Al-Shulah about the number of cleaning contracts that Kuwait Municipality signed for Wafra residential area from Jan 1, 2017 till date; including the duration, value and name of contractor for each contract. He wants to know if there is a cleaning contract for the residential area at present, reasons if the answer is ‘no’, if the Municipality recorded violations committed by any of the contractors, penalties imposed on erring contractors, and number of complaints submitted by the residents of Wafra residential and agricultural areas since Jan 1, 2017 till date.
MP Hassan Jawhar forwarded queries to HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al- Ahmad Al-Sabah about the commitment of the government to submit a bill on regulating the salaries and appointment of senior officials. He said the government affirmed its commitment to submit the bill within the first 100 days after presenting its program but it has not done so till date considering more than 200 days have passed. He urged HH the Prime Minister to submit the bill before the next parliamentary session; otherwise, the government will be held responsible for squandering public funds and depleting the State budget.
In addition , MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri has called on the Ministry of Health to stop randomly taking samples from individuals to make sure they are free of Covid-19. He claimed the World Health Organization (WHO) is implementing a plan aimed at reducing the number of inhabitants on the planet as a prelude to gaining full control over nations through a new pandemic and the administration of fatal vaccines. He urged Minister of Health Ahmed Abdulwahab Al-Awadhi to close the WHO office in Kuwait and conduct investigations on the fatal vaccines. Furthermore, the Ministry of Information has completed a bill on organizing the information and media sectors. The Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Kuwait Municipality, Communications and Information Technology Regulatory Authority, and Cybercrimes General Department will review the bill and revised it, if necessary. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff
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