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Closures seen up for Sunday review – MoI threatens jail, fines for violators

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KUWAIT CITY, Feb 6: Several owners of spas and barbershops on Saturday gathered in front of the National Assembly building to express their objection to the recent decision of the Cabinet to close such establishments as a way of curbing the spread of coronavirus.

Several business owners on Saturday gathered at the Erada Square in front of the National Assembly building to express their objection to the recent decision of the Cabinet to close some establishments in bid to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The demonstrators took this action in a bid to convey their message to the Cabinet through the Assembly. They expressed disappointment over the decision which, they stressed, will worsen their suffering; asserting that it is unacceptable to close certain businesses while allowing others to continue their operations.

One of the protesters asked why the Ministry of Health approved holding the 2020 parliamentary elections that led to gatherings and violation of the rule on social distancing, yet the Cabinet decided to close some establishments even if they adhered to the health regulations. A woman managing a beauty salon said she has six workers and the closure of the salon means she has no option but to fire them. She asked the Cabinet to consider the impact of such a decision on the whole society.

Several business owners on Saturday gathered at the Erada Square in front of the National Assembly building to express their objection to the recent decision of the Cabinet to close some establishments in bid to curb the spread of coronavirus.

A spa owner stressed that he is ready to shutdown, but on one condition – the Cabinet should compensate him or at least promise to do so later. In a related development, Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim disclosed that he discussed the issue with HH Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid who agreed to revise the decision; indicating the Ministerial Emergency Committee and representatives of the owners of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will meet on Sunday.

Al-Ghanim also confirmed meeting the representatives of the owners of SMEs in the presence of MPs Abdullah Al-Turaiji and Ahmed Al-Hamad. He said the representatives explained their suffering and the damages they have incurred because of the decisions related to combating coronavirus. He then called on the Cabinet to suspend the implementation of the abovementioned decision as it will negatively affect a large number of Kuwaiti families.

Complaints
MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji disclosed that he met with representatives of the owners of SMEs, during which he listened to their complaints. He quoted the representatives as saying that they should not be held responsible for the mistakes of other institutions, while stressing they are not against the move to combat coronavirus.

He said the representatives have presented alternative ways to combat coronavirus, without affecting them negatively. He appealed to HH Prime Minister to listen to the representatives prior to the implementation of the decision on Sunday. He added the owners of SMEs are planning to hold a demonstration on Sunday to urge the Cabinet to consider their opinions and pay attention to the negative consequences of the decision to the economy.

MP Muhannad Al-Sayer called on the Cabinet to cancel the decision, indicating the latter focuses only on the health aspect of the issue without taking into consideration the economic aspect. He asserted that many countries have presented four to five economic solutions, while Kuwait has yet to take such step.

Moreover, MPs Thamer Al-Suwait, Badr Al-Dahoum, Khalid Al-Otaibi and Muhammad Al-Mutair submitted a bill on rescheduling the collection of payments for citizens’ loans. They suggested exempting citizens from paying loan interest and the payment period for the loan should be 12 years

By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff and Agencies

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