The parliamentary Financial and Economic Affairs Committee on Thursday approved the draft bill on the establishment of a closed company for the recruitment of domestic workers. However, Rapporteur of the Health Committee MP Sadoun Hammad Al- Otaibi voiced objection to the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee’s proposal to amend the bill.
He argued the bill is now in the hands of the Health Committee, so the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee has no right to amend it. The proposed amendment states that the current domestic labor recruitment offices cannot participate in the company. The specified participants include the Kuwait Investment Authority, Cooperative Societies Union, Public Institution for Social Security, and the citizens.
Al-Otaibi pointed out the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee should only look into issues related to the establishment of the company, reiterating that any amendment proposed by the said committee will be rejected. He explained the Health Committee has presented a comprehensive proposal regarding the domestic workers, taking into account the fact that 400 Kuwaiti families own private domestic labor recruitment offices. He asserted it is unreasonable that these Kuwaiti families become ‘victims’ just because of one private company.
Commenting on the proposal, Financial and Economic Affairs Committee Chairman MP Faisal Al- Shaya disclosed the bill contains 10 articles and his committee has submitted its report in this regard. Talking about the annual development plan for fiscal 2016/2017, Al- Shaya revealed the total estimated cost for the implementation of the plan is KD 4.627 billion covering 275 projects. He clarified the 245 ongoing projects are from the previous development plans with a total cost of KD 4.612 billion.
Al- Shaya said there are 30 new projects with a total cost of KD 15 million, three of which are construction projects and the rest are development projects. Meanwhile, member of the Human Resources Development Committee MP Ahmad Lari affirmed that the government has reached an agreement with the panel concerning the third category of workers covered by the strategic alternative to the salary scale – the newly appointed employees. He said a meeting will be held on Sunday with the concerned ministry and company to discuss the categories.
He added the committee called for the enactment of a law on payroll because many of its members are afraid that the government might not implement the proposal. He admitted some have expressed concern over the possibility that the basic salary of newly appointed employees will be affected and this, in turn, will affect their pension. On the leadership positions, Lari has unveiled a plan to form a panel for selecting officials, with the State Audit Bureau director as chairman and representatives from several government agencies as members. He stressed this committee will work according to the guidelines for the selection of officials.
He explained the committee will endorse five eligible persons for the position and then the minister will choose three from these five nominees while the final decision on who will be appointed among the three lies in the hands of the Cabinet. He believes the implementation of this proposal will eliminate the so-called ‘parachute’ appointment process as the leadership posts will be given only to those working in the same institutions. In another development, MP Faris Al- Otaibi has warned about organizing the World Pop Festival and allowing the entry of K-Pop bands to participate in this festival, as such events might have a negative impact on the mindset of youths in Kuwait. He called on the ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs to address the issue, indicating the concerned government authorities will be given some days to prevent the entry of these bands.
Moreover, MP Madhi Al-Hajiri has submitted questions to State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammed Al- Abdullah Al-Sabah on the establishment of pay parking lots around the Public Authority for Civil Information building. He asked for reasons behind the establishment of pay parking lots, results of studies carried out in this regard if any, authority tasked to collect parking fees and if there is a free parking area. Furthermore, MP Mohammed Al- Barrak Al-Rashidi has presented a proposal for the Ministry of Defense to give up its land located near West Abdullah Al-Mubarak to be handed over to the Public Authority for Housing Welfare for the implementation of its housing projects. He pointed out the housing grant applications have been piling up and some citizens applied in 2002, so they have been waiting for more than 12 years now.