KUWAIT CITY, Jan 30: Kuwait Government spokesman Tareq Al-Mezrim announced Thursday resignation of Social Affairs Minister Dr Ghadeer Aseeri. In a statement to KUNA, Al- Mezrim said a decree has been issued assigning Minister of Municipal Affairs Waleed Al-Jassem as Acting Minister of Social Affairs.
MP Dr Khalid Al-Damkhi, who had earlier submitted a grilling motion against Dr Aseeri, expressed gratitude to those who supported the grilling after the announcement of Aseeri’s resignation.
In a press statement, Al-Damkhi clarified that his dispute with Aseeri was not personal as it was aimed at protecting the interests of the public; while wishing her the best in her personal life. He disclosed the objective of the grilling was to emphasize the importance of following the criteria for the appointment of ministers.
He said a minister should always be capable of shouldering responsibilities, especially in light of the current situation in the region. He added that different media platforms have been attacking him but he accepted the situation as this is part of freedom of speech which he supports. He pointed out the citizens have proven they will not allow anyone to touch or attack their religious and legal references.
Stopping the manipulation of handicapped files and suspicious appointments in cooperative societies is a public demand which expedited the resignation of Aseeri, the lawmaker asserted. He urged State Minister for Municipality Affairs and acting Minister of Social Affairs Walid Al-Jassem, Public Authority for Handicapped Affairs (PAHA) Shafiqa Al-Awadi and HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al- Khaled to review the recent decisions taken by Aseeri.
In another development, Al- Damkhi revealed the parliamentary Human Rights Committee discussed Thursday the draft laws on combating visa trading and human trafficking. He affirmed Kuwait is preparing for the third meeting on human rights in Geneva by determining achievements in terms of addressing violations and comments of various authorities in a bid to attain the goals in this regard.
Meanwhile, the Budgets and Final Accounts Committee deliberated on the final account of the Foreign Affairs Ministry for fiscal 2018/2019 in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Dr Ahmed Nasser Al- Muhammad Al-Sabah. Committee Rapporteur MP Riyad Al-Adassani revealed they discussed the comments of the State Audit Bureau and Financial Controllers Bureau regarding the ministry.
He said the panel found out that the ministry transferred a total of KD 651 million to Kuwaiti embassies and consulates abroad while the budget allotted for this item was KD 101 million only. He added the ministry then explained that the actual amount transferred was KD 157 million and attributed the erroneous figure to a glitch in the electronic system, indicating the Ministry of Finance confirmed this.
Therefore, the committee asked the Ministry of Finance to check the figures and provide the committee with a detailed report on this issue, he concluded. On the other hand, Sheikh Dr Ahmed Nasser confirmed that his ministry remains committed to the items of the budget. Furthermore, MP Muhammad Al-Dallal has submitted questions to Minister of Information and State Minister for Youth Affairs Mohammad Nasser Al-Jabri about the number of public libraries in each governorate, number of citizens and expatriates employed in these libraries, and plan of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters (NCCAL) to promote public libraries to encourage the public to use these facilities.
MP Osama Al-Shaheen has forwarded questions to State Minister for Municipal Affairs Waleed Khalifa Al-Jassem about the allocation of land for the establishment of sports clubs for the handicapped. He wants to know if the ministry and Public Authority for Sport are coordinating their efforts in this regard.
MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri asked Minister of Finance Mariam Al-Aqeel about the number of buildings rented by public institutions after consulting the State Properties Directorate or without consulting it, owners of these buildings, rental fee for each building, and terms of each rental contract. In addition, Al-Muwaizri has submitted a proposal to amend National Assembly Decree No. 12/1963 to specify the tasks and names of parliamentary committees, especially the Commerce and Industry Committee.
MP Askar Al-Anzi has presented a draft law amending the Scholarship Decree to allow unmarried female students on scholarship to be accompanied by a member of their families — father, mother, brother or relative who is prohibited to marry them according to Islamic Sharia. He suggested the Ministry of Higher Education must shoulder the expenses of the companion. MP Ahmed Al-Fadl has proposed the allocation of one clinic in each health center for patients who booked appointments through the Health Ministry’s website, such that they will be given priority without affecting the services provided to the elderly and the handicapped.
By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff and Agencies