MP queries expat ‘hires’

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KUWAIT CITY, Aug 16: MP Khalil Al-Saleh has forwarded questions to Finance Minister Anas Al-Saleh about the impact of Value Added Tax (VAT) on citizens. He said the minister was quoted as saying on July 5, 2017 that the Ministry of Finance is studying the impact of VAT prior to its implementation, taking into account the basic needs of citizens and ensuring that the minimum standard of living is not compromised.

Based on reports published by local newspapers on Aug 7, 2017 on the Council of Ministers’ approval of VAT, the lawmaker wants to know if the study has been completed or not, date of completion and results. He asked if the study and its results were presented to the Cabinet prior to the adoption of VAT agreement, if there are governmental reports on the consequences of imposing tax, if the ministry looked into the effects of imposing tax on those with limited and middle incomes in other countries, and if VAT is part of the economic reform document that the government intends to submit to the National Assembly.

He also inquired about the steps which will be taken to spare citizens of the negative effects of VAT, goods and services exempted from VAT, justifications for exemption, and number of Kuwaiti families under the low income and middle income categories.

Furthermore, MP Saleh Ashour has submitted questions to Minister of Social Affairs and State Minister for Economic Affairs Hind Al-Sabeeh on the appointment of non-Kuwaitis in her ministry. He considers this a surprising step in view of efforts to implement the Kuwaitization policy in order to replace expatriate employees with citizens.

He cited reports published on various social media platforms about the appointment of expatriates in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, Public Authority for Handicapped Affairs, Public Authority for Manpower and Government Restructuring Program He demanded for details such as the names of non- Kuwaitis appointed to each of the aforementioned institutions from Jan 1, 2015 till date, their academic certificates, years of experience, salaries and nationalities.

On another issue, MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri asked Minister of Oil, Electricity and Water Essam Al-Marzouk to provide him with names of the current board members of oil companies and institutions in and outside Kuwait which are wholly owned by the State and those where the State contributed not less than 25 percent of the capital. He requested as well for the names of officials and teams in these companies and institutions, decisions on their appointment, their qualifications and privileges, in addition to copies of relevant documents.

He wants to know if the retired senior oil officials have received their retirement benefits and if any of them were appointed to lower positions after retirement. He asked about the projects that Kuwait National Petroleum Corporation and Kuwait Oil Company have completed in cooperation with international and local companies at a total cost of more than KD 100,000; duration of contracts for these projects; and percentage of completion from April 1, 2013 till date. He also requested for copies of relevant contracts and documents. He wants to know also if contracts for the construction of new houses have been signed, value of each contract, number of houses and their specifications.

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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