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Time to focus on visa trade

Coronavirus exposed horrible and barbaric faces of visa traders

KUWAIT CITY, April 6: National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim said the coronavirus crisis has exposed the horrible and barbaric faces of visa traders, stressing that it is now time to address the demographic imbalance.

Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim

He added the government must hold the visa traders responsible for the marginal labor issue, oblige them to shoulder the cost of establishing camps for marginal workers, and then refer them to the Public Prosecution.

He suggested the names of visa traders should be revealed to the public and they should be punished. He asserted Kuwait does not allow injustice and abuse, especially since visa traders collect money from the poor laborers and then leave them on the streets to steal from others in order to recover the money they spent to obtain a visa.

In a related development, MP Adel Al Damkhi disclosed the lawmakers submitted a number of suggestions concerning the coronavirus crisis; such as calling on the Ministry of Health, supported by the relevant authorities, to present a chart about the progress of the crisis and projections that will be used as reference for laying down medium and long term strategies.

He stressed the importance of enforcing total curfew in areas with high number of corona cases discovered recently. He said this step must be taken in line with a comprehensive plan to secure the basic needs of residents in such areas and reduce the crowd by allotting alternative places for them. He criticized the huge crowd in Kabad quarantine center, wondering how the laborers were transported to such a crowded place where the rate of infection is as high as when they were in their respective areas.

He added he suggested establishing an air bridge to secure the supply of medical equipment and food even after the summer of 2021 and activate the military conscripts to intensify efforts in confronting the crisis.

He also praised the establishment of field hospitals for expatriates, calling for increasing the number of these hospitals. Meanwhile, Al-Ghanim revealed the Public Loan Bill is an old proposal that was included in the Assembly’s agenda more than two years ago.

He said the government on Thursday requested for withdrawal of the bill stipulating that it is allowed to obtain KD 25 billion loan.

He added the government then presented another bill on KD 20 billion loan, instead of KD 25 billion. He clarified the bill has nothing to do with the current crisis, refuting the allegation of some politicians that the government will obtain loans for distribution to some individual beneficiaries.

However, he believes the bill will not be passed; considering the country is currently experiencing exceptional circumstances. He said he advised the government to withdraw the bill and refer it to the high committee tasked to lay down the economic and financial policies, chaired by the Central Bank of Kuwait governor.

He affirmed that he will give the government a chance to withdraw the bill even before referring it to the parliamentary Economic and Financial Affairs Committee.

On the other hand, member of the parliamentary Educational Affairs Committee MP Muhammad Al-Dallal revealed that the committee discussed the online education issue with the concerned officials at the Ministry of Education, Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET), and private universities.

During the meeting, the committee stated that online education in private schools must not be considered before April 1, 2020 when the relevant decision was taken by the Council of Ministers, the lawmaker explained. He pointed out that private schools are not allowed to consider results of online lessons prior to the abovementioned date, because this is illegal and it is the subject of an appeal submitted to the concerned court.

By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff

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