Raising fuel prices helped Kuwait make $1.2 billion surplus in two years

Bedoon students banned from joining private universities’ councils

KUWAIT: Kuwait achieved financial surplus of $1.2 billion in two years, as the annual surplus is estimated at $600 million based on the price of oil barrel at $60. The surplus in the budget became possible after Kuwait raised gas prices in September 2016 by reducing subsidies on fuel prices, and reducing incentives for government officials. Furthermore, the country seeks the implementation of selective tax next year, under the commitment to reduce the state’s deficit in the 2018/2019 fiscal year which is estimated at KD 7 million. Kuwait’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry Undersecretary Abdelghaffar Al-Awadhi had stated that raising oil prices, considering that average price of oil remains at KD 40 per barrel, will save KD 120 million during the first year of implementation.

Bedoon students
Secretary General of the Private Universities Council Dr Habeeb Abul said the secretariat told private universities and colleges to ban bedoon (stateless) students from being nominated to student councils or unions. He explained that the ban comes at the instructions of the central department for remedying the status of illegal residents.

Fake employment
Director of labor inspection department at the Public Authority for Manpower Mohammad Al-Ansari said that as part of its coordination with the Manpower and Government Restructuring Program, the authority was informed about the results of inspection on Kuwaiti workers in the private sector to take legal action against fake employment cases, and to stop paying allowance for fake employees. Regarding violating companies, Ansari said that the department which handles violations of employers and companies coordinates directly with the misdemeanors and investigations departments at the interior ministry, which sends violations to the public prosecutor.
In other news, Head of the Workers Union at the Public Authority for Manpower Fahad Al-Osaimi made a scathing attack against a number of lawmakers, who he accused of insulting the authority’s staff lately. He expressed rejection to those “who want to belittle the staff members or marginalize their important role in organizing the market place.” Osaimi said that workers at the authority have a vital role in implementing standards of international organizations that were ratified by Kuwait.
Osaimi was speaking during a press conference held yesterday morning at the Public Authority for Manpower, which he had called for in order to ‘defend workers’ and she light on their role in “safeguarding citizens’ rights in the private and oil sectors.”
“After the establishment of the manpower authority five years ago and its separation from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labors, workers were able to achieve unprecedented success in various administrative, legal and financial fields,” Osaimi said, adding that the authority collected KD 67 million for the state though its budget is nearly KD 50 million. Lawmakers had recently criticized manpower authority workers during recent statements in which they slammed a government decision to merge the Manpower and Government Restructuring Program, which handles Kuwaitis’ employment in private companies, with the Public Authority for Manpower, which organizes labor affairs in the private sector.

Nursery closed
Education Ministry Undersecretary Dr Haitham Al-Athari issued a decision to close down the building of Al-Ikhlas nursery in Al-Qusoor area of Mubarak Al-Kabeer governorate. Students will be moved to Al-Manar nursery, located in bloc 2 of the same area.

Encroachment on state property
The Environment Public Authority, in cooperation with Kuwait Municipality and environment police, inspected a Sulaibiya site following complaints about environmental violations on state property there. Kuwait Municipality Director General Eng Ahmad Al-Manfouhi was present during the operation. Inspections revealed that several unlicensed stores were built and rented to companies. The violators were issued citations for not complying with the environmental law. Meanwhile, Kuwait Municipality removed the site because of encroachment on state property.

By A Saleh and Meshaal Al-Enezi

This article was published on 02/09/2018