MP Hamoud Al-Hamdan has accused some fish traders of illegally importing their products into the country. Al-Hamdan claimed these traders have been importing their products without submitting the required documents, affirming he has been closely following up this issue as it negatively affects the fish industry - one of the major sources of food in Kuwait.
He urged the Imported Food Department in Kuwait Municipality and General Customs Department to be strict in demanding for all the required documents for any consignment passing through the borders. He wondered why the department has remained silent over the report of one of its supervisors, considering the report mentioned flaws in the mechanism for importing fish and shrimp through the sea borders; particularly at Doha Port. He said the report disclosed that some Iranian fish and shrimp traders have manipulated the procedures because they did not provide original documents, receipts, certificates of origin, and health and veterinary certificates.
He pointed out all GCC countries strictly implement procedures for importing food products in order to protect their citizens from infectious diseases. He said, “It is unfortunate that the Municipality, in cooperation with the Public Authority for Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR), agreed to postpone until June the presentation of a veterinary health certificate which proves the product is free of diseases or epidemics. He asked, “Why postpone submission of the certificate for several months although it is being used in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states? Whose interest is being served for taking such a step?” He asserted this is an unstudied decision which resulted in the entry of tons of rotten fish into the Kuwaiti market.
He alleged cartons of spoilt fish and shrimps that were imported into the country without the necessary paperwork are being sold at dawn in Mubarakiya Market. He lamented the concerned officials decided to postpone submission of the veterinary health certificate; instead of establishing border laboratories to determine biological, chemical and radiological contaminants in imported food products. He warned that consumption of rotten and contaminated fish could lead to hepatitis and cancer; as well as kidney, stomach or intestinal diseases. He said chemical contamination causes total disability and death, expressing regret for the lenient approach adopted by concerned authorities in dealing with traders of spoilt food.
He stressed the health of Kuwait’s people is a red line which nobody should cross, adding the lawmakers will continue to monitor procedures for the appointment of officials in the Food and Drug Department in a bid to prevent the appointment of anyone accused of corruption. Meanwhile, Financial and Economic Affairs Committee Chairman MP Faisal Al-Shaya said the panel will complete its report on the proposed amendments to the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) Law before the March 10 session, if it receives the government’s comments on time; otherwise, the amendments will be adopted by the end of March.
He added the committee will discuss amendments to the Public Tenders Law after completing its work on the CMA Law. He explained the committee discussed this law several times earlier, but the government asked for a grace period to submit its comments.
He said the amendments to the Public Tenders Law are significant as they are related to the development plan; hence, the need for the government to submit its comments immediately in order to approve the proposal within the current legislative round.
Furthermore, MP Abdulhameed Dashti criticized the minister of commerce and industry for what he calls ‘parachute recruitments’ at the ministry. He argued it is unacceptable for the minister to recruit individuals from outside the ministry and appoint them to high ranking positions because this is unfair to the existing employees who has been working hard to climb the career ladder.
He pointed out articles seven and eight of the Constitution clearly stipulate that the country guarantees justice and freedom for everyone. He accused the minister of violating these articles by employing individuals from outside the ministry; without giving the existing employees, who deserve promotions, a chance to prove their ability to occupy leadership posts. Addressing the minister, the MP asserted, “The days of helping your friends are over.” He also asked the minister to address the issue and rectify errors; or else, it will be one of the points in the grilling motion he intends to submit against the latter.