KUWAIT CITY, Feb 21: The attempt to impose tax on remittances continues with the bill submitted by MP Abdullah Al- Turaiji who proposed taxing the money transfers of foreigners in any currency.
The bill covers remittances of individuals, companies and organizations; excluding the exempted categories stipulated in the treaties on protecting investment and capital transfer.
The bill authorizes the Central Bank of Kuwait to specify the categories according to the amount of transfer and the corresponding tax, as well as the methods of monitoring and collecting tax.
The collected tax will be handed over to the Central Bank, while banks and licensed companies that will not remit the collected tax to the Central Bank will be fined KD 10,000 maximum.
Individuals, companies and societies that violate the law by transferring money through unaccredited exchange centers and banks will be imprisoned for five years or fined double the amount transferred. The Council of Ministers will issue the executive decree of the law within three months after its ratification.
Meanwhile, MP Hassan Jawhar asked all the interim ministers about the procedures they have adopted to strengthen cyber security. He wants to know the number of Kuwaiti and expatriate employees in every ministry who completed training course on cyber security since 2012 when the Central Agency for Information Technology (CAIT) announced the plan to train 5,000 employees from 50 ministries and public institutions.
He asked if every ministry has its own policy or all of them have adopted the unified cyber security strategy of the State, demands of each ministry in light of the international criteria for database protection, department in charge of cyber security in each ministry, if a ministry or any of its subsidiaries have a contract in this regard with a private company, if such a company is capable of transferring the national database outside the country or not, procedures taken to prevent such transfer as it exposes national security to penetration, criteria for providing cyber security, and if a neutral institution has been assigned to evaluate the level of cyber security in each ministry.
MP Mubarak Al-Arow forwarded queries to interim Minister of Oil, Electricity and Water Muhammad Abdullah Al-Fares about the settlement of tender number RFB2066003 in favor of two Egyptian companies – Sino Tharwa Drilling Company and Egyptian Drilling Company (EDC) – for KD 12.944 million while the lowest bid was KD 10.864 million. He asked if there was a recommendation to choose the abovementioned companies or not, why these two companies were not obligated to offer the lowest price especially since the quality of work and adopted criteria are the same, if the ministry is aware that Sino Tharwa Drilling Company incurred losses amounting to $33 million in 2019 and it has yet to start the works stated in tender number JOsc448/w018 which was signed with Gulf Petroleum Company in 2019 because of its problems, and if penalties were imposed on these Egyptian companies for the delayed execution of the works specified in the tender MP Mehalhal Al-Mudaf asked interim Minister of Finance Khalifa Hamada about the number of Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) projects, which will be handed over to the State by fiscal 2022/ 2023.
He requested for copies of the reports on the operating conditions of every project, action that the ministry will take in case the projects do not meet the criteria, public institution which will monitor the projects, role of the Higher Committee for Partnership Enterprises in this regard, report of the committee on every project, and ways the State will manage the projects. MP Osama Al-Shaheen submitted questions to interim Minister of Health Dr Basel Al-Sabah about the recent decisions of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), such as requiring arriving passengers to undergo institutional quarantine in hotels for seven or 14 days.
By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff