Thursday , September 28 2023

‘Set up new public university’

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EPA move to monitor chemicals, waste queried

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 29: MP Majed Al-Mutairi has submitted a bill on the establishment of another public university whose core is the College of Basic Education, which is currently part of the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET). Al-Mutairi pointed out that the College of Basic Education at PAAET is the biggest among such colleges in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. He said it is a university in itself, considering it has 19 departments, more than a thousand personnel and more than 23,000 students with an average admission of 4,000 to 5,000 students every academic year.

On the other hand, MP Aliaa Al-Khalid forwarded queries to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Oil Bader Al-Mullah about the legal basis of the Environment Public Authority’s (EPA) decision to inspect and monitor the export and import of chemical substances and waste from Kuwait to other GCC countries and vice versa despite the verdict of the Cassation Court on petition number 12/2020 to exempt chemical substances coming from GCC countries from the inspection and fees. She said the decision of EPA violates law number 5/2003 on the commercial agreement between GCC countries.

She wants to know the effect of the above-mentioned decision on efforts to develop local industries and investments and legal basis for collecting fees under the pretext of combating smuggling, considering this is the task of the Kuwait General Administration of Customs (KGAC) and Criminal Investigation General Department at the Ministry of Interior.

She demanded for a detailed report on violations in the import and export of chemical substances and waste since the issuance of decision number 87/2020 by KGAC in response to the letter of EPA and action taken against those who committed violations. Decision number 87/2020 stipulates fees and the need to inspect the import and export of chemical substances and waste.

Therefore, the lawmaker inquired why two private companies have been tasked to carry out the inspection and collection of fees although certain public institutions like Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) have the capability to do so. MP Osama Al-Zaid forwarded queries to Minister of Finance Abdulwahab Al- Rashead about the achievements of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development in the last five years. He wants to know if the council has conducted a study on improving the government‘ s performance, end of the term of the current members of the council, mechanism for appointing new members, and if the council is still active and if it is carrying out its tasks.

He also asked about the total cost of ‘buying‘ the so-called ‘difficult’ debts as per law number 41/ 1993 that was enforced 29 years ago, total amount of purchased debts so far, number of debtors, credit facilities provided by Kuwait Finance House (KFH), amount of securities issued by the Central Bank of Kuwait, interest rate for ‘buying’ difficult debts, international capital markets where the securities were offered, total amount of securities issued by the Central Bank from 1993 to 2013, number of debtors who continued to pay the installments within 12 years after the enforcement of law number 41/1993, number of debtors who did not pay on time, amount of unpaid debts, amount of fine imposed on defaulters, number of debtors subject to bankruptcy decisions and those who obtained reconciliation to avoid bankruptcy.

Al-Zaid asked Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Oil Bader Al-Mullah about the criteria for appointing the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kuwait National Petroleum Corporation (KNPC), explanation of the terms on the seized gains of KNPC and its subsidiaries, economic model followed by each subsidiary, income sources of Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), and impact of merging oil companies on the workers and the generation of job opportunities.

He forwarded queries to Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior and acting Minister of Defense Sheikh Talal Khalid Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah about the measures that the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) has taken to ensure the recruitment of skilled foreign workers, its role in addressing the demographic imbalance issue, steps taken to control the rising domestic labor recruitment costs, measures taken against domestic labor recruitment offices proven to have violated the regulations, if PAM has authorized Kuwait Engineers Society to accredit the academic certificates of technical and scientific professionals, and fees for such service. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff

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