The parliamentary Financial and Economic Affairs Committee on Sunday reached an agreement with the government to endorse two draft bills — establishment of a closed company for the recruitment of domestic workers and increasing the government’s shares in Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC).
However, the committee postponed voting on the two bills until its next meeting. Committee Rapporteur MP Mohammed Al-Jabri disclosed the proposed company for the recruitment of domestic workers will be established through the coordinated efforts of some institutions, three of which have officially agreed to participate — Public Institution for Social Security, Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) and Cooperative Societies Union (CSU); while the Public Authority for Minors Affairs (PAMA) agreed in principle on the condition that this step is in compliance with the Islamic Sharia Law.
He said the ministries of Interior and Defense and the National Guard will announce their position regarding the proposal in the next meeting. He added the committee intends to exclude owners of existing domestic labor offices from the new company and to allocate the biggest percentage of shares to CSU since it represents the citizens and shareholders.
He revealed the capital of the company will range from KD 3 million to KD 5 million, affirming the priority of the company is to offer better services rather than to make profits. In another development, the lawmaker went on to say the committee approved the proposal to increase the number of shares owned by the government in KAC, confirming Minister of Communications Issa Al- Kandari has agreed in principle to increase the government’s stake to 75 percent.
He stressed many MPs prefer that the KAC remains a national air carrier owned by the government, indicating 20 percent of the shares will be offered for subscription to citizens and five percent will be given to KAC employees who resigned but did not get any financial privilege. Commenting on the proposal, MP Khalil Al-Saleh pointed out the legal aspects of the country will not be affected if KAC retains its status as the national carrier. He said fresh Kuwaiti graduates, retirees and children of Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaitis will be given priority in the recruitment of new KAC staff.
Moreover, the Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee has rejected the request of the Public Prosecution to lift the immunity of MPs Nabeel Al-Fadel, Hamad Al-Hershani and Mohammed Al- Barak in the press misdemeanor case filed against them. Rapporteur of the committee MP Abdulhameed Dashti said the proposal to seek clarification on articles 20 and 111 of the internal bylaw of the legislature was discussed extensively on Sunday.
He explained both articles contain stipulations about the parliamentary immunity of MPs during their work in committees, so the proposal was submitted to Parliament Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim for the necessary action. In the meantime, MP Khalil Abdullah has forwarded queries to Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr. Bader Al-Essa on the agreement between Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) and University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell) to financially support US-based Raytheon Company to be exempted from its obligations in Kuwait Offset Program.
He asked for details of the agreement, copies of approvals from the concerned parties, financial agreements between the participating contractors, duration of the accredited academic convention, scientific courses to be offered by the university, method of teaching these courses, investment agreements related to the facilities and infrastructure in light of developing new courses, capacity of the university to accommodate additional facilities and buildings, plan to offer a masters degree program for engineering without offering the bachelors degree in this field, reasons for choosing UMass Lowell, and other relevant information.