KUWAIT: The total number of expats working for the private sector amounts to 1,403,457, according to official statistics as of Dec 31, 2016, said Abdullah Al-Motoutah, Acting Director of the Public Authority for Manpower. The total number of residency visa transfers made as of that date was 197,000, residency renewals totaled 797,000 and 47,000 residency cancellations for departure were processed.
Motoutah also noted that the total number of employers’ violations was 1,091, and that the joint committee for reorganizing expatriate labor arrested 1,238 people, including 1,076 wandering handymen, 151 peddlers and 11 beggars. Motoutah said the total number of complaints filed by laborers was 11,000, of which 4,204 were amicably resolved.
From Jan 1, 2017, Kuwait Shared Electronic Banking Services Company (K-Net) started activating a new customer verification technology will be used by adding more security elements and a special verification code to transactions worth KD 25 and higher. K-Net CEO Abdullah Al-Ajmi said customers will no longer be able to use their cards for online shopping or paying pills unless they have their information updated with their banks, especially their mobile phone number, on which the bank will text clients a secret onetime code. Ajmi said 230 million cash withdrawals and online shopping and POS transactions were made in 2016, with a total value of KD 15 billion.
Acting Chairman of the State Audit Bureau Adel Al-Saraawi warned that the government still did not resolve the state budget structure imbalance amidst a number of variables including the fall in state revenues due to the continuation of an international drop in oil prices. Addressing both powers’ remarks on the State Audit Bureau report, Saraawi said oil revenues formed 88.6 percent of 2015-2016 total revenues, compared to the huge expenditure, on top of which was payroll at KD 9.2 billion – 76.5 percent of oil revenues. He added payrolls totaled KD 8.7 billion in 2014-2015 and KD 8.2 billion in 2013-2014. “This indicates a deficit growth of KD 5.98 billion as per the 2015-2016 budget,” he underlined, noting that the deficit was covered from the state’s general reserves, with an increase of 119.6 percent compared to the deficit in 2014-2015.
Manager of the imported food department Ayyad Al-Mutairi said on recommendations made by the higher committee for food safety, preventive measures imposed on importing Egyptian strawberries were lifted and imports were allowed after conducting routine lab tests on both fresh and frozen strawberries. Mutairi added that the municipality allows Egyptian strawberry imports on condition that shipments are accompanied by special certificates from the Egyptian ministry of agriculture stating that it is free of the hepatitis A virus, in addition to testing specimens after arrival in Kuwait to make sure they are safe for human consumption.
A court yesterday ordered a chef accused of murdering a ruling family member, his friend and his Asian maid, to be remanded in custody after he confessed to committing the crime.
By A Saleh