KUWAIT CITY, Aug 21: According to informed sources, officials of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry initially estimated the value of the food supplies that will be disbursed to those employees of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Interior who are working as front liners of the first category in fighting the spread of COVID-19 at about KD 50 million, reports Al-Rai daily.
The sources said, “According to the open discussions in this regard, the citizens covered by the decision will receive their food rations free of charge for a period of six months. The expatriate employees of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Interior will be allocated catering items worth approximately KD 10 per month. The same will be for each member of his family for a period of six months. The rations will be disbursed to citizens as part of their regular monthly entitlements. Coordination is underway between the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Ministry of Social Affairs to equip three or four catering branches in various governorates designated for expatriate frontliners. It is technically difficult to disburse the allocated ration for expatriates through the traditional mechanism used by citizens, as they are not included in the monthly list of beneficiaries in the first place. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry is prepared to implement the decision by identifying ways to enhance the budget for additional supplies, and the amounts required to be spent in this regard in proportion to the numbers within the segment covered by the decision”.
The sources indicated that the trend is to allocate the financial savings recorded by the ministry in its budget for the past fiscal year, which was not spent due to the conditions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, to cover the ration benefits for front-line beneficiaries. In addition, they said, “Despite receiving the lists of beneficiaries from the ministries of Health and Interior, and the start of the countdown for the distribution of the granted rations, the launch date has not yet been determined. Work is currently underway to complete the technical equipment, both in terms of distribution sites and for operating the automated system scheduled for distribution. The distribution is expected to start within two months.”