Health minister vows to look into requests of SMEs owners
KUWAIT CITY, July 9: The parliamentary Business Environment Improvement Committee recently held its sixth meeting on the coronavirus crisis with Minister of Health Sheikh Dr Bassel Al-Sabah in attendance, says Chairman of the committee MP Yousef Al- Fadalah.
Al-Fadalah disclosed that the committee presented the complaints of the owners of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) regarding the closure of their businesses. He informed the minister that the owners of SMEs are ready to comply with the health regulations and they are willing to bear responsibility as per the specified penalties in case they violate any of these regulations.
He affirmed the minister promised to look into the requests and reduce the period of each stage of the gradual return to normal life plan. On the other hand, Rapporteur of the Health and Social Affairs Committee MP Sa’adoun Hammad said the committee on Tuesday met with representatives of the campaign, “Kuwaitis whose salaries are suspended due to the lockdown imposed by the government to curb the spread of coronavirus.”
Hammad revealed the total number of citizens without salaries reached 3,000 including many categories such as the newly appointed employees and newly retired who did not complete the necessary procedures due to the closure of public institutions.
This is in addition to fresh graduates who were unable to apply for graduation allowance and families entitled to the social allowance but could not update their data within the specified period for the same reason, the lawmaker explained. He went on to say that the representatives of citizens without salaries suggested the establishment of a special fund to cover the suspended salaries.
The committee suggested adding the citizens without salaries to the beneficiaries of the Social Allowance Bill, which has been included in the agenda of the National Assembly.
The committee will meet on Wednesday with Minister of Social Affairs and State Minister for Economic Affairs Mariam Al- Aqeel and State Audit Bureau (SAB) to discuss the issue and define solutions, the lawmaker disclosed.
Meanwhile, head of the campaign Khalid Al-Mutairi urged the government to quickly establish a fund in order to end the suffering of citizens without salaries whose number continues to increase day after day.
Legal representative of the campaign Noura Al- Mutairi recommended solutions such as the allocation of a special fund or including citizens without salaries to the beneficiaries on law number 12/2011 that secures salaries of citizens during exceptional times such as the compulsory lockdown.
In another development, MP Muhammad Al-Dallal stressed that both the Assembly and the people are against the idea of imposing tax. If the government is serious in dealing with the budget deficit, it should start in itself and rationalize public expenditures.
The government must look for other sources of revenues like increasing the rent of public buildings and industrial plots and combating corruption, instead of imposing tax which intensifies the suffering of citizens, he asserted.
By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff