Saturday , September 30 2023

Speaker all praise for Riyadh – Panel nod on support bill

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KUWAIT CITY, March 24: National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim praised the initiative taken by Saudi Arabia to end the war in Yemen and push for political settlement of the crisis through the ceasefire agreement. Al-Ghanim called on the concerned parties to react positively to the initiative in order to stop bloodshed. He said the initiative was taken at an appropriate time, urging the international and regional parties to convince the Yemeni side to respond to it. He hopes that the suffering of Yemenis will end soon.

Meanwhile, the parliamentary Financial and Economic Affairs Committee approved the bill on granting support to the owners of nano, small and medium enterprises and postponed until Thursday the voting on the bill to suspend the collection of payments for citizens’ loans for six months in a bid to listen to the opinion of the government. Member of the committee MP Saadoun Hammad disclosed the bill consists of 22 Articles, including the classification of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and identification of enterprises that suffered from damages due to the coronavirus crisis.

According to the bill, a small enterprise has less than 50 workers with maximum capital and assets valued at KD250,000 and maximum annual revenues amounting to KD750,000. A medium enterprise has 51 to 150 employees with maximum capital and assets valued at KD500,000 and maximum annual revenues of KD1.5 million.

The bill stipulates maximum KD250,000 financial support for the beneficiaries, while local banks will specify the amount of support based on a study on the damages incurred by each enterprise. Clients who did not pay installments regularly until Dec 31, 2019 will not receive such support as per the regulation of the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK). Owners of emerging projects who were affected negatively by the crisis before March 12, 2020 are exempted from the aforementioned regulation.

Article Six of the bill states the financial support comes in the form of a loan payable in eight years with a grace period of two years. Article Nine mandates the State to guarantee 80 percent of the total loans which will be granted without interest. The maximum guaranteed amount is KD 500 million which will be granted to beneficiaries within six months starting from the day of enforcing the bill. Moreover, MP Osama Al-Shaheen submitted a proposal to allow the recruitment of domestic workers from various countries provided the necessary procedures are taken in line with the health regulations.

He pointed out that Kuwaiti families need domestic workers, especially since the holy month of Ramadan is fast approaching. On the other hand, MP Abdulkareem Al- Kandari forwarded queries to Minister of Education Ali Al-Mudaf about the alleged mass resignation of expatriate teachers. He wants to know if this is true; reasons behind the mass resignation; and if the ministry intends to replace these teachers with Kuwaitis, children of Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaitis and Bedouns.

By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff

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