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KUWAIT CITY, Dec 3: MPs Shuaib Al-Muwaizri, Badr Nashmi, Abdullah Fehad, and Hamad Al-Matar have submitted a bill on the establishment of the Public Authority for Cooperatives, which will be affiliated with the State Ministry for Cabinet Affairs. The bill stipulates the following description and tasks of the authority:
■ An independent legal institution that will lay down general strategies for cooperative work to develop this field;
■ Improve the performance of the cooperative sector;
■ Protect the shareholders’ money;
■ Follow up and monitor the execution of integrated cooperative policies;
■ Conduct studies on developing cooperative work;
■ Review the international and regional treaties concerning cooperative work;
■ Present recommendations to join or withdraw from these treaties;
■ Raise the citizens’ awareness about the importance of cooperative work;
■ Lay down comprehensive strategies to protect the market from any crises threatening food security in collaboration with the Consumer Cooperative Societies Union (CCSU);
■ Improve social services in coordination with the cooperative societies;
■ Lay down an integrated strategy for training nationals to engage in cooperative work;
■ Discuss and make decisions regarding applications for the establishment of cooperative societies;
■ Replace the Ministry of Social Affairs and Ministry of Commerce and Industry in terms of oversight and following up cooperative societies;
■ Lay down the general rules and regulations for organizing cooperative work while giving every cooperative society the right to issue certain regulations through their general assembly provided they are in line with the general rules and regulations;
■ Appoint an employee who will monitor the performance of each cooperative society and represent the authority in the general assembly of each cooperative;
■ Specify the dates for the elections of the board of directors of cooperative societies and announce the results of such elections;
■ Request for plots for the establishment of cooperative societies and farms to increase food production; ■ The authority’s Board of Directors shall investigate administrative and financial violations in cooperatives and then take disciplinary action or refer the case to the Public Prosecution;
■ The authority’s chairman also heads the Board of Directors which will consist of thee members who are the deputies of the board chairman in addition to the chairman of the CCSU;
■ The authority’s Board of Directors can invite concerned personalities to its meetings, but such personalities should not interfere in voting on decisions;
■ The Board of Directors shall hold meetings every month;
■ The concerned minister will issue the executive regulations within three months after the ratification of this bill.
In addition, MP Osama Al-Shaheen submitted a proposal to obligate schools under the supervision of the Public Authority for Disabled Affairs (PADA) to adopt the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) system. He submitted another proposal for the Ministry of Education not to cut the summer vacation pay of teachers accompanying a family member or relative undergoing overseas treatment.
Meanwhile, Al-Shaheen asked Minister of Social Affairs and State Minister for Family, Women and Children Affairs Sheikh Feras Al-Sabah why the public hospitals do not cater to individuals with intellectual disabilities, especially the elderly, who are forced to avail services in private hospitals. He also inquired if PADA is following up the curricula for students with autism and reasons for not adopting the (ABA) system in schools supervised by the authority.
MP Osama Al Zaid asked Minister of Health Ahmed Al-Awadhi about the total number ambulances in his ministry, number of ambulances in service and those outside, manufacturing date and equipment in each ambulance, number of unused ambulances if any, reasons for not using them, copies of purchase contracts for these ambulances, price and brand of each ambulance, if the ministry sent a team to check the ambulances before signing the contracts with the manufacturers, if there are ambulances found to not match the specifications stated in the contract upon delivery to the country, measures taken if the answer is in the affirmative, copy of the technical report that proves they match the specifications if the answer is ‘no’, information about the team tasked to receive the ambulances including the qualifications and experience of the team members, if the ministry conducts regular assessment of ambulances to upgrade the equipment, copies of relevant documents if the answer is ‘yes’, if there is an electronic link between the hospitals and the Medical Emergency Department to coordinate the time for transporting patients by ambulance, reasons behind the absence of such link if the answer is ‘no’, method used and procedures followed by the Medical Emergency Department in dealing with crises and disasters, number of patients that an ambulance can transport per hour from different parts of the country to the hospitals, if the ministry signed insurance policies for the ambulances, value of the insurance compared to the purchase price of each ambulance if the answer is ‘yes’, entity that shoulders the cost in case ambulances are involved in traffic incidents if the answer is ‘no’, number of Kuwaiti and non-Kuwaiti employees with medical emergency certificates, number of Kuwaiti and non-Kuwaiti employees hired in the last 10 years, if the ministry rejected a Kuwaiti applicant with such a certificate, reasons for rejection if the answer is ‘yes’, if the ministry conducted a study to determine the reasons behind the low number of Kuwaitis pursuing medical emergency studies, copies of the conclusion and recommendations of that study, allowances granted to medical emergency employees, reasons for not granting them the infection and hazard allowances, if the ministry asked the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to put emergency workers under the rare jobs category, and if the ministry asked the Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS) to put emergency workers under the hard, dangerous and harmful jobs category. MP Shuaib Shaaban asked Minister of Education, Higher Education, and Scientific Research Adel Al-Manea to provide him with copies of all the decisions that his office issued since Sept 13, 2023, till date; the number of consultants at the office including their experience, qualifications, salaries and allowances; if the consultants communicate directly with employees in the headquarters of the ministry and the educational districts; the rationale behind such direct communication if the answer is ‘yes’ considering it is a violation of the CSC regulations; the number of teachers with higher studies certificates including their tasks at the workplace; if these teachers are promoted for holding higher academic certificates; if the ministry coordinates with its finance counterpart if it intends to join international organizations and it has to pay subscription fees; number of Kuwaitis employed in international organizations in which the ministry is a member including their positions and tasks; if foreign employees represent Kuwait in such organizations; names, experience and qualifications of employees assigned in the cultural offices from Jan 1, 2022 till date; if all the schools have clinics; if these clinics are ready to deal with emergency cases; vision for online education considering the students and teachers are not well-equipped for such system while not all the required equipment are available; reasons behind the continuous hiring of expatriate teachers in public schools; if the local educational institutions still lack the capability to produce the required number of teachers; detailed report in this regard including the number and specializations of expatriate administrative employees and teachers; clarification about the alleged non-payment of salaries for Bedoun teachers since September 2023; and if this is upon the request of the Central System for Remedying the Status of Illegal Residents (CSRSIR) because of the expiry of their security cards.
On the other hand, Rapporteur of the Budgets and Final Accounts Committee MP Osama Al-Zaid disclosed that the committee on Sunday met with the representatives of the concerned institutions to discuss the final account of the Ministry of Education for fiscal 2022/2023. He said Minister of Education, Higher Education and Scientific Research Adel Al-Manea neither attended the meeting nor sent his representative as a sign of respect for the National Assembly. He added the senior officials who represented the Ministry of Education in the meeting are acting officials, indicating they cannot respond to the committee’s queries as they assumed the interim post recently. He called on HH Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al Sabah to follow up on this issue and instruct the ministers to respect the Assembly and not to ignore the parliamentary meetings. He highlighted the importance of the meeting since the Ministry of Education ranks second in terms of budget allocation — KD 2.2 billion.
Chairman of the Public Facilities Committee MP Muhammad Al Mahan confirmed that the committee on Sunday approved the proposal of MP Dawoud Maarefito to transfer the supervision of public parks from the Public Authority for Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) to the cooperative societies. The proposal stipulates the provision of more services for citizens, especially those residing in the southern areas where public services are limited. It mandates the cooperatives to supervise the public parks, allot spaces for citizens who want to establish small businesses at a low cost, and provide jobs for the retirees under the wages chapter without reducing their pension. Representatives of the Ministry of Social Affairs, CCSU, PAAAFR and Ministry of Finance attended the meeting. Furthermore, Assembly Speaker Ahmed Al-Saadoun had meetings with Kuwaiti Ambassador to Thailand Muhammad Husain Al- Failakawi and Kuwaiti Ambassador to Venezuela Fadhel Al-Hassan.
By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh
Al-Seyassah/Arab Times Staff
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