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KUWAIT CITY, Sept 9: National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim has submitted the Illegal Residents (Bedouns) Bill, which covers those registered at the Central System for Remedying the Status of Illegal Residents (CSRSIR). The bill mandates the CSRSIR to prepare the list of Bedouns eligible to obtain Kuwaiti citizenship as per Nationality Law No. 15/1959. The list will be forwarded to the concerned minister who will be designated by the Council of Ministers. According to the bill, priority will be given to Bedouns who modified their status and presented documents proving their original nationalities.
These Bedouns will be granted the following privileges within one year after the ratification of this bill:
■ Permanent residency (self-sponsorship) for 15 years renewable; including the wife and minor children
■ Free health services including for the handicapped
■ Free education
■ Right to obtain civil documents and all types of driving licenses
■ Jobs in the private and public sectors
■ Right to engage in commercial activities
■ Right to obtain a commercial license
A Bedoun who does not submit documents proving his original nationality within the first year after the ratification of the bill will be deemed to have violated Residency Law No. 17/ 1959; hence, he will not be entitled to any of the abovementioned privileges and he will not be granted citizenship in the future.
The bill stipulates that the concerned minister shall form a committee approved by the Council of Ministers to receive complaints about decisions on granting permanent residency or citizenship. The committee members will include two judges. Complaints should be submitted to the committee within 30 days of the issuance of the decision, then it will submit its report to the Higher Committee for Kuwaiti Citizenship Investigations within 60 days after receiving the complaint. If the committee does not submit a report to the Higher Committee within 60 days, it means the complaint is dismissed.
On the other hand, MP Bader Al-Humaidi has proposed prohibiting the issuance of prescriptions for expensive medicines like intoxicants without the approval of the Health Ministry undersecretary. He explained his proposal is aimed at rationalizing expenditures and protecting the health of patients. Meanwhile, the parliamentary Women, Family and Children Affairs Committee on Thursday met with representatives of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Interior and Supreme Council for Family Affairs.
Committee Chairman MP Osama Al-Shaheen disclosed that they discussed the rising number of cases of violence against women and other individuals. He pointed out the problem is not due to the lack of legislation although some of the relevant laws must be amended and certain articles should be nullified. He attributed the problem to loopholes in the educational system and lack of safety measures. He said the Assembly ratified the Family Violence Law in 2020, but the executive decree has yet to be issued. He holds the Supreme Judiciary Council and the Legal Advice and Legislation Department accountable for the delay. He added that he asked the representatives of the Interior Ministry about the steps taken regarding the recent crimes, especially the murder in Taimaa and violence against a Kuwaiti woman and her daughter in Souq Salmiya. He inquired if securitymen are qualified to receive calls about family crimes and if there are procedures they need to follow starting from the time they receive the call. He praised the decision of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs to allocate hotline number 158 for calls related to family crimes, but the hotline has not been launched until now. He said the council is currently investigating seven family violence cases, indicating the victims in five of these cases are females and males in the other two cases. He added this figure entails such violence is not prevalent, but it requires the concerted efforts of all concerned parties to prevent the recurrence of the crime.
In another development, MP Marzouq Al-Khalifa forwarded queries to Minister of Finance and Minister of State for Economic and Investment Affairs Khalifa Hamada about the legal basis for asking several public institutions and ministries to increase fees for the services they offer. By Saaed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff