MPs object decision on Kuwaitis in private sector

Photo shows Kuwaiti National Assembly

KUWAIT: Lawmakers yesterday objected to a government decision to place a body overseeing Kuwaitis employed in the private sector to the Public Manpower Authority which supervises over two million expatriate workers. The Assembly also agreed that the Audit Bureau will conduct an investigation into the accounts of the Cabinet to see if funds were spent in violation of the law. MPs also approved budgets for eight government entities.
MP Mubarak Al-Hajraf said the decision to merge a government body that encourages Kuwaitis to seek jobs in the private sector with the Manpower Authority is ill-advised and was taken without proper studies. Hajraf said that it is unacceptable to merge some 90,000 Kuwaitis in the private sector with some two million expatriate workers, adding that the government sector is lagging and does not encourage to the contrary of the private sector. The lawmaker called for freezing the decision until the Assembly health and labor committee completed its report on the issue.
MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri said that the planned merger is a humiliation to Kuwaitis, and charged that it is an objective being sought by senior officials in the government. The opposition lawmaker called for a new assembly that can work to serve the interests of Kuwaitis. MP Abdullah Al-Roumi described the decision as incorrect and will have serious negative consequences in the future if implemented.
The decision was taken by the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Hind Al-Sabeeh but has not yet been implemented. The Assembly also approved after a brief debate a request by several MPs to ask the Audit Bureau to investigate the Cabinet accounts to ensure that funds given to needy citizens were offered in line with the law. The request was submitted last week after a video posted on social media showed MP Ahmad Al-Fadhl saying the government was going to pay MPs before the summer.
Later, the lawmaker explained that this was in connection with some MPs helping needy citizens to obtain cash assistance from the government, insisting the payments were not made through MPs but directly to beneficiaries. State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh said the government has no objection and is ready to cooperate with the Audit Bureau. MP Fadhl said he has been the target of a propaganda campaign on social media because of the issue and criticized some lawmakers for taking part in the attack.
He said he has asked the Anti-Corruption Authority to investigate his financial status in connection with the issue. The Assembly then approved the 2018/2019 budgets for eight state agencies following a brief debate. The agencies are: Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, the Agricultural Authority, Kuwait Municipality, the Minors Authority, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait University, Capital Markets Authority and Public Manpower Authority.

By B Izzak

This article was published on 29/05/2018