KUWAIT CITY, Sept 26: Undersecretary of Ministry of Social Affairs Abdulaziz Shuaib affirmed that the ministry has the authority to supervise cooperative consumer societies in accordance with article No. 27 of the law No. 24/1979, which grants it the powers of supervision and control over the work of cooperative societies, reports Al-Anba daily.
In a press statement, Shuaib stressed that the Ministry of Social Affairs, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, has consistently applied the Cabinet’s decisions that were aimed at implementing a set of economic reforms to address the repercussions of the pandemic. These decisions prompted the ministry to take a decision to exempt investment branches from paying rents as per a plan with four stages.
Regarding the status of the investment branches in cooperative societies, he said the ministry issued a circular to the Union of Consumer Cooperative Societies that included the ministry’s plan to exempt investors.
Shuaib explained that the plan was prepared after referring to the decisions issued by the concerned government agencies and based on the stages and time schedule prepared by the government authorities which are as follows:
During the first stage, which began from March 22 even before the total lockdown was imposed on May 9, it was decided to reduce the rents of investment branches by 50 percent for activities permitted by the municipality, and by 100 percent for the activities that the municipality did not permit but are in line with the municipality’s decision No. 703/2020 that organizes the activities authorized to operate during this period.
The second stage was from May 10 to May 31 during which the total lockdown was imposed. During this stage, it was decided to reduce the rents for all activities by 100 percent.
During the third stage from June 1 to August 30, the rents of all activities were reduced by 50 percent, except for those that were banned such as salons and tailor shops, which were exempted from payment of rents.
In the fourth stage, which was scheduled from September 1, rent payment from all investment branches was reestablished.
Shuaib said, “Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the country has been exposed to an exceptional circumstance during which the efforts of government agencies represented by the Ministry of Social Affairs, and the cooperative societies were focused on cushioning the supermarkets and their investors from the negative repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis”.
He stressed that the decision to exempt investment branches was set with specific criteria and ratios consistent with the decisions of the competent authorities in order to remedy the economic situation of the state following the total and partial lockdown periods to encourage Kuwaiti investors in the cooperative societies.