‘Bedoun’ issue in limelight

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KUWAIT CITY, Sept 13: The parliamentary Illegal Residents (Bedouns) Affairs Committee on Monday discussed bills on Bedouns with Minister of Interior Sheikh Thamer Ali Al-Sabah, Minister of Health Dr Basel Al-Sabah, and representatives of public profit organizations, Central System for Remedying the Status of Illegal Residents (CSRSIR) and Kuwait Lawyers Society. Rapporteur of the committee MP Marzouq Al-Khalifa affirmed that Sheikh Thamer Ali Al-Sabah expressed his willingness to cooperate and understand the humanitarian nature of the issue, especially regarding the issuance of passports for Bedouns who need to undergo treatment or study abroad. He said this will be included in the law on Bedouns in order to authorize the interior minister to issue Article 17 passports for Bedouns. He added the committee will hold another meeting with representatives of the Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI), Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health to tackle issues concerning Bedouns. He also disclosed that the committee approved three proposals he submitted earlier as follows:

■ Ensure equality between Bedoun teachers and their counterparts from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Arab countries in terms of salary, promotion and end-of-service pay;

■ Treat Bedoun doctors, nurses and X-ray technicians like their Arab and GCC counterparts in terms of salary, promotion and endof- service pay;

■ Bedoun military personnel at the ministries of Defense and Interior will continue living in the houses allocated for them, even after retirement.

They will also continue being shareholders of cooperative societies affiliated to the Ministry of Defense and National Guard. After retirement, Bedoun military personnel at the ministries of Defense and Interior will be granted identification cards proving they served in these ministries. They and their families can avail medical services at Jaber Al-Ahmad Hospital. In another development, MP Abdulkareem Al-Kandari forwarded queries to Minister of Education Ali Fahd Al-Mudaf on the recruitment of teachers abroad even if Kuwait has enough qualified graduates among citizens, Bedouns and children of Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaitis. He also asked why the ministry hired teachers from countries which rank lower than Kuwait in international indexes on the quality of education.

MP Osama Al-Shaheen forwarded queries to Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdullah Essa Al-Salman about the KD50 reduction of the national labor subsidy granted to Kuwaitis working in the oil sector and holding academic certificates. He got information that the reason behind such reduction is the job title as the relevant law states the subsidy is specified according to qualification, not the job title.

MP Bader Al-Humaidi asked Minister of Health Dr Basel Al- Sabah about the legal basis for granting members of the Board of Directors of the Public Authority for Food and Nutrition (PAFN) KD7,000 incentive per month; considering the amount exceeds the ceiling for salaries and that they are still receiving their pension every month. He pointed out the incentive for board members at the Supreme Council for Planning and Development is only KD5,000 per year; highlighting the wide gap between the incentives granted to the board members of the two institutions.

He then warned this will negatively affect public funds. He also asked Minister of Interior Sheikh Thamer Ali Al-Sabah about the queries he submitted earlier about 37,000 expatriates who have files at the Psychiatric Hospital. He asserted these expatriates pose a grave threat to national security, disclosing he has not seen any official action in this regard since the day he submitted the queries. He wants to know if these expatriates have been deported or not. If yes, he requested for details such as the number of those who were deported. If no, reason for not taking such step. MP Muhannad Al-Sayer asked Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Justice and Minister of State for Nazaha Enhancement Abdullah Al-Rumi if the list of Justice Ministry employees entitled to the excellent performance bonus includes those who were exempted from reporting for work due to the Covid-19 crisis in 2020. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff

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