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|Da’am in the Kuwaiti dialect means collision or crashing into or with something like in the case of two vehicles, but here it means ‘support’ when translated to English.|
Financial da’am ‘support’ is expression meaning money earned by those who choose to work in the private sector, instead of the public sector and are being compensated by the government because of the low salary scale in the private sector.
This also means those who choose to work in private sector have to work hard, adhere to duty hours strictly in addition to attendance, leave of all nature and others.
The financial support provided by the government to those who work in the private sector is KD 600. However the demand for work in the private sector has recently dropped to below the required level.
Although the situation was good in the beginning and convinced many Kuwaitis to join the private sector, it received a blow because of the decision that was taken by the former oil minister Mohammad Al-Basiri, the Muslim Brotherhood representative in the government.
This is because he raised the salaries of a group of workers in the oil sector. As a result other government institutions followed suit and this created a shift in the mentality of those who had opted to work for the private sector and instead preferred government jobs.
This untimely decision and the silence of the government took a toll on the payroll and the government was unable to find a solution to the problem of disparities between the salaries of certain sectors.
This is what pushed the Civil Service Commission and the Manpower Government Restructuring Program (MGRP) into a maze and no one knows how to get out of it.
There is no doubt the idea of enticing young people to work in the private sector is good, but the government’s constant inability to change the negative view of handicraft and the idea of working in the private sector, except for working in banks, may have emptied the idea of da’am of its content.
As a result so many Kuwaitis preferred to remain at home instead of opting to work in the private sector for a monthly salary and a generous government ‘da’am’.
The Al-Jarida daily published a report according to which the MGRP Secretary-General is said to have stated that the total number of jobs available in the cooperative sector is close to 2,000, but the number of applicants is only five percent.
In my opinion, this is a moral disaster before being an administrative problem, and I mean it.
Over the past 20 years, the MGRP management had sent the applicants, thousands of unemployed people to senior officials in private sector companies, but a frightening percentage of them have turned down generous employment packages and preferred to stay put at home.
This is irresponsible behavior but the negative view of the society is also to be blamed for looking down upon those who work for companies selling furniture or poultry for example.
It has become crystal clear that the issue is not material, which means any increase in financial support or the so-called da’am will not have the desired impact. The need of the hour is new policies and better vision.
By Ahmad Al-Sarraf