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Lawmaker Questions Government over Decision about Family Visas

MP Abdul Karim Al-Kandari asked Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, and acting Minister of Interior Sheikh Fahd Yusuf Al-Sabah about the expected number of foreigners entering the country given the decision to open the family visa; projected cost for the State in terms of subsidies, health services and other public services; the rationale behind allowing this number of foreigners to enter the country; investment plans in this regard for the benefit of the public treasury; impact of the decision on the State’s plans to control the demographic composition, proportions of workers and nationalities in the country; foundations for the requirements and exclusions from the family visa requirements; and a system to confirm the legitimacy of applicants’ educational records and determine whether their degree aligns with their intended field of employment in the nation.

In the meanwhile, the following topics will be covered in the regular parliamentary sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday: – A request from the government to raise the head of state’s annual budget by KD50 million in order to pay for the necessary costs, – The selection of committee members, – Establishing new committees, Cast a vote on the prior sessions’ minutes. – Letters received, – Questions from the legislature, A bill about constituency reform, – The Foreigners Residency Law Amendment Bill, – Amiri’s address during the first meeting of the 17th parliamentary term; – The findings of the fact-finding commission, which was entrusted with looking into any irregularities in the weapons transactions involving Eurofighter and Caracal helicopters.

Due to the government’s conservative stance, there is currently no guarantee that the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee’s reports on the proposals to raise the cost of living allowance from KD120 to KD250 per month and to provide retirees with zero interest loans equal to 15 times their pension will be discussed in the upcoming sessions. Both bills’ implementation would deplete the public coffers.

The government of HH the Amir, Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, is currently abroad, so HH the Deputy Amir, Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, is leading the government in the next session. Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, and acting Minister of Interior, Sheikh Fahd Yusuf Al-Sabah, will lead the government.

However, MP Khalid Al-Otaibi asserted that the government’s “maneuvers” are a waste of time. Postponing the Assembly’s examination of bills that the public found helpful is categorically opposed, he said, since they have been well-considered and analyzed. He cautioned that asking for a delay of this kind might be an indication of impending disaster.

The administration was encouraged by MP Badr Nashmi Al-Anzi to take a definite stance on the aforementioned measures. In the hope that the government will act similarly in the best interests of the people, he stated that the Assembly is prepared to work with it. He went on to say that delaying the conversation about these bills might cause hostility and doubt. He questioned the government’s announcement that the work program is ready given that it had just asked the public to help define the program by submitting the Cabinet their priorities. He claimed that this indicated the program was not yet ready.

Regarding the Kuwait Army Fund matter, MP Shuaib Shaaban referred questions to Sheikh Fahd Yusuf Al-Sabah, acting interior minister, minister of defense, and deputy prime minister. He claimed that this is one of the largest corruption instances, with multiple people found guilty. He went on to say that the case, which was filed on December 25, 2023 by the Ministry of Defense, involves the use of spy gadgets and the training of specific people to be spies. The national security is at risk, he cautioned. He asked if teams and committees from the Kuwait Army’s Intelligence and Security Directorate had been established to look into the previously mentioned problems, and if the committees had been suspended and their members had been disciplined by being made to retire. Additionally, he asked for copies of the rulings. Another development is that MP Shuaib Shaaban’s proposal to have the education minister issue an order requiring public and private schools to hold tutorial classes in the afternoon for every subject during the academic year was approved by the Education, Culture, and Guidance Affairs Committee.

The idea states that the schools will only charge a maximum of KD5 in fees per session, and that the Kuwait Teachers Society will host cultural events to educate students about the value of switching from private tutoring sessions to those hosted by the schools. Additionally, he recommended that Kuwaiti teachers lead the tutorial sessions first. In addition, on Monday, six parliamentary committees debated a range of topics from their agendas. With representatives from the ministries of oil, commerce, and industry present, the Complaints and Petitions Committee discussed the grievances of a number of residents.

The plan to raise the reserve fund to KD5 billion by having the Central Bank of Kuwait collect a specific portion of public institutions’ yearly revenues was discussed by the Budgets and Final Accounts Committee. Attending the conference were representatives of Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) and Central Bank. In the presence of Sheikh Feras Al-Sabah, Minister of Social, Family, and Childhood Affairs, representatives of the Higher Council for Family Affairs, and a number of civil society organizations, the Women, Family, and Children Affairs Committee discussed the implementation of the law on family abuse and its executive regulations.

The measures to change Civil Service Law No. 15/1979 to permit public sector workers to have dual positions in the private sector or as business owners were deliberated by the Human Resources Committee. Attending the meeting were representatives from the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The Public Authority for Artificial Intelligence and the legislation revising the Electronic Transactions Law were debated by the Committee for Digitalization, Artificial Intelligence, and Cybersecurity Empowerment in Public Institutions.

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