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Al-Rashidi to present new strategy to combat graft – ‘Fake workforce must be purged’

KUWAIT: Social Affairs and Labor Minister Thekra Al-Rashidi announced a new strategy to deal with the labor sector and the corruption that has come to afflict its various departments, adding that she will present it to the council of ministers for approval. Al-Rashidi said in a statement to the press that the strategy included setting up service centers to be run by the private sector in various governorates according to rules and conditions set by the advisory office. Bids will be floated for the purpose. The minister said the centers will receive employers and process their transactions within 20 minutes.

The centers will send a copy of the transactions to the concerned departments, while employers and businessmen will not be allowed to contact any ministry employees lest anyone could bring any influence to work on them.

About the presence of three million workers in the country, and the fact that the market is reeling under severe shortage of laborers and having to pay higher salaries, Ajmi Al- Mutalaqim said, “Most of the available labor force is fake and came here to live, not work .” He said most such laborers had their own business. He said this labor force controls the fish, livestock, vegetable and discount markets. He said this situation has led to problems such as higher prices, commercial cheating and sale of poor quality food. All this was happening due to corruption within the social affairs ministry on account of violating law No 135/2001.

He said the National Labor Union will send an official complaint to the International Labor Organization in which it will mention all these violations.

The amount collected as nomination fee from members of the annulled National Assembly was not used by the Interior Ministry, and added that the annulled assembly’s members have a right to reclaim the fee based on the ruling under which it was annulled, sources said. The sources said the number of incumbent members who are eligible to seek a refund is eight, as only those who obtained at least 10 percent of the total valid votes could seek refund.

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This article was published on 07/06/2013