Ministry of Public Works terminates 40 expat workers

KUWAIT: The Ministry of Public Works (MPW) is expected to notify 40 expatriate employees that their contracts will be terminated effective July 1, 2018. This step comes in line with Civil Service Commission (CSC) regulations that stipulate replacing expatriate employees in the public sector with national manpower, said sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity, adding that the ministry made the decision and selected the employees to be laid off according to its needs and the number of years a worker has been in service. The sources did not specify the terminated employees’ positions or their years of service, however. CSC rules stipulate that an employee should be terminated (or referred to retirement in case of Kuwaiti workers) should they serve for 35 years or reach the age of 65. Exceptions are made for employees whose services would be needed in their positions such as doctors, as their contracts in this case would be renewed on a yearly basis. Several ministries have made similar steps in recent weeks after being notified to make efforts to hire more Kuwaiti jobseekers as the government hopes to fully ‘Kuwaitize’ the public sector’s labor force within five years.

Jaber Hospital
The Ministry of Public Works (MPW) is scheduled to hand over the Jaber Hospital project to the Ministry of Health (MoH) today morning, said informed sources, noting that by doing this, MPW will renounce responsibility for the KD 304 million project. The sources added that turning the project over comes after tending to all the remarks previously made by MoH. The sources added that delaying turning the hospital over causes loss of public funds, especially since 15 months of the building’s two-year maintenance contract have passed without benefiting from it.

11 shareholding companies
The Supreme Planning Council reported about the projects included in the government development plan, noting that they include establishing 11 shareholding companies with 26 percent of its shares to be owned by the government, 24 percent to be owned by strategic partners and 50 percent to be offered for public bidding. Informed sources said the report includes development projects, residential cities, Shadadiya university, Kuwait international airport development, landscaping downtown Kuwait City, Jaber Al-Ahmad Hospital, Boubyan port, Shuaiba power and water desalination plant and Al-Zour gas plant.

KD 2.7 billion
Chairman of the parliamentary budget and final statement committee Adnan Abdulsamad said the committee met yesterday and discussed assessing the cost of construction projects in the 2018-2019 fiscal year. He said that the total estimated budget would be KD 2.7 billion, which is 6 percent less than the current fiscal year budget. He also elaborated that the KD 1.9 billion of the budget will be used in 428 construction projects, in addition to KD 727 million for machinery and equipment purchases. Abdulsamad added that KD 500 million of MPW’s budget will be allotted to the newly-established roads and land transport authority.
He added that the Audit Bureau reports stressed the weak executive capabilities of some government bodies that have offices overseas and noted that those offices had failed in purchasing property abroad to be used for diplomats’ accommodation, instead of leasing them. He added that the reports also showed that some government bodies, such as the Ministry of Interior (MoI), had been renting a number of buildings for over 35 years.
The committee highlighted the parliament’s decision not to have the Amiri Diwan execute any future construction projects and stressed that the new budget will only allocate KD 70 million to the Diwan to be used in completing the projects currently under construction.

Bonuses unaffected
Minister of State for Housing and Minister of Services Jenan Boshehri strongly denied social media reports about suspending the yearly bonuses paid to Kuwait Ports Authority employees who achieve excellence in their annual job performance evaluation.

Martyrs Mural
Hawalli Governor Lt Gen (Retd) Sheikh Ahmad Al-Nawaf Al-Sabah inaugurated ‘The Martyrs Mural’, made in collaboration with the Martyrs Bureau and the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) at Mishref Park. Speaking on the occasion, Sheikh Ahmad expressed his joy to take part in showing gratitude to the souls of people who sacrificed their lives to protect Kuwait. He also noted that HH the Amir had recently ordered adding the names of people killed in natural disasters, the Al-Sadeq Mosque bombing and previous wars to those registered at the Martyrs Bureau. Sheikh Ahmad stressed that the Martyrs Bureau cherishes and honors all martyrs and not only Kuwaitis. Amiri Diwan Undersecretary and Martyrs Bureau Director Fatima Al-Ameer said the mural’s idea was a success when it was first introduced at Shaheed Park. “Thence came the idea of building murals in parks at all six governorates,” she underlined. PAAAFR acting deputy director for fish resources and landscaping Ali Al-Farsi said another mural had been launched at Adan Park and work is in progress to build more murals in Riggae and Abu Halifa parks.
Chairman of Kuwait Fishermen Union Thaher Al-Sowayyan applauded HH the Premier’s keenness on listening to fishermen’s grievances and complaints through inviting the union to attend the public services committee meeting held on Monday at Seif Palace with Minister of Social Affairs and Minister of State for Economic Development Hind Al-Sabeeh.
Sowayyan added that the union presented its vision on Kuwait shrimp reserves and suggested special solutions to protect them as recommended by KISR. He also stressed the union’s rejection of the decision suspending shrimping using rear-mounted fishing nets in local waters until further notice. “This decision will inflict considerable losses on boat owners and deprive local consumers of fresh Kuwaiti shrimp, which will leave national waters during the ban and get caught in neighboring countries, which will re-export it to Kuwaiti markets,” he warned.

By A Saleh and Meshaal Al-Enezi

This article was published on 13/03/2018