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Parliamentary’s ‘legal panel’ discusses 60 bills, proposals

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MoI asked about plan on adding 8 areas to various constituencies

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 4: The parliamentary Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee held its third meeting on Monday, during which it discussed almost 60 bills and proposals. Committee Chairman MP Khalid Ayed said the committee determined the bills and proposals, which should be referred to other committees like the proposal of MPs Hassan Jawhar and Marzouq Al-Khalifa to amend the Elections Law, and that of MPs Saadoun Hammad and Muhammad Hadi Al-Hewaila on allowing citizens to set up diwaniyas in their front yard. Ayed also disclosed in a press statement that he forwarded queries to Minister of Interior Sheikh Thamer Ali Al-Sabah about the plan to distribute eight areas to various constituencies.

He said the citizens residing in these areas were unable to vote in the recent parliamentary elections because the areas were not added to any of the five constituencies, indicating these areas include Northwest Sulaibikhat and Nahda.

He presented questions to Minister of Public Works and State Minister for Municipality Affairs Dr Rana Al-Fares about the suspended coastal area development project in Sulaibikhat even if it has been included in the State’s development plan since 2015. He wants to know the amount paid to the contractor and if penalties were imposed on the latter due to the delayed implementation of the project. On the other hand, the Human Resources Committee on Monday agreed to send letters to the National Assembly in order to obtain approval for the committee to follow up the implementation of the replacement policy and recruitment of citizens in the public and private sectors.

In a press statement, committee member MP Muhammad Hadi Al- Hewaila unveiled the panel’s plan to meet with representatives of the Civil Service Commission (CSC), Ministry of Education and Higher Education, and other concerned institutions to discuss the strategy for linking the educational outputs with the actual manpower needs of the labor market.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Human Rights Committee MP Thamer Al-Suwait confirmed that the committee discussed its work program and priorities on Monday. He said they also talked about the recent murder and suicide cases and circumstances leading to these incidents. He revealed the committee will invite Minister of Interior Sheikh Thamer Ali Al-Sabah to its next meeting to tackle the human rights conditions in jails and detention centers. He also announced that on Tuesday he intends to submit a proposal to refer those involved in the untoward incidents during the inaugural session of the Assembly to the Public Prosecution, adding that 10 MPs have signed the proposal.

The lawmaker said HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al- Khalid will be questioned about the incidents, since he witnessed the session. In another development, MP Osama Al-Menawer has submitted a bill to specify the standard salary scale. He argued it is unacceptable that one of two employees who graduated from the same college and in the same year receives a salary of KD 800 while the other receives KD 2,000. He said the bill shall amend the privileges and allowances granted to senior officials in order to balance the remunerations.

He also presented a bill to stop giving grants or loans to other countries without the approval of the Assembly. He clarified this bill is not applicable to Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development because a special law was ratified for this fund. However, he intends to propose amending the law to prevent the fund from waiving off loans without the Assembly’s approval.

He will submit another proposal to cancel the decision of the Assembly Office to conduct investigations into the incidents in the opening session, because this task should be assigned to the committee that the Assembly formed for such purpose. MP Marzouq Al-Khalifa submitted a proposal to name the Nazaha building after the late Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in recognition of his outstanding role in combating corruption.

MP Ali Al-Qattan proposed the allocation of spaces along the coastal areas for the youths to start their own businesses like play areas, cafés and canteens. He said this will be implemented through the concerted efforts of concerned institutions like the Public Authority for Sports, Ministry of State for Youth Affairs, and National Fund for Small and Medium Enterprises.

Furthermore, MP Osama Al- Shaheen forwarded queries to Minister of Justice Nawaf Al-Yasseen about the steps taken by Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) and Public Prosecution to combat corruption and money laundering in order to protect the reputation of Kuwait and prevent the decline of its ratings in global credit indexes.

He asked about the role of Nazaha and the prosecution in investigating the Panama documents, Paradise papers and files leaked by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (Fin- CEN) in America. He disclosed there are about 200,000 suspicious documents in which the amount involved is estimated at KD610 million from 1999 to 2017.

MP Farz Al-Daihani forwarded queries to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Hamad Jaber Al-Ali Al-Sabah about the news published by Al-Qabas daily which quoted the US State Department as saying that it approved armament deals with Kuwait including Apache helicopters and other equipment valued at $4 billion.

If this is true, the lawmaker requested for details including the list of equipment and helicopters and amount of the deal. He asked if the ministry conducted a study to determine if it really needs this type of helicopters, if other Arab countries purchased such helicopters from the same company, if the ministry dealt with the company directly or through brokers, and if the ministry obtained approval from the monitoring institutions to proceed with the deal.

By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff

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