Lawmaker calls for taxing expat remittances • Two MPs to grill info minister

KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah ordered the establishment of a ministerial committee to carry out the work of completing the Entertainment City by entrusting the implementation of this project to the private sector. An official source at the Amiri Diwan added the implementation of this project will be through the private sector, noting the Amiri Diwan will not be bearing any expenses.

The source also noted that the project for establishing, implementing, operating and maintaining the surrounding area of Kuwait Sports City has been put forward in a bid for local companies specialized in this field, adding that the estimated revenue is KD 50 million, which are revenues of the state treasury. The source stressed that the Amiri Diwan is subject to all the regulatory authorities in the country and legal procedures.

KUWAIT: Lawmakers are seen during a National Assembly session yesterday. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Meanwhile, MP Omar Al-Tabtabaei yesterday called for the need to impose taxes on financial remittances by expatriates living in the country, saying the number of expats has swelled to be equal to three times the number of Kuwaitis. He said expats remit billions of dinars annually without any benefit to the country, adding that the huge demographic imbalance in the country must be resolved.

A number of MPs have submitted a draft law calling to impose a five-percent tax on remittances by expatriates to their home countries. But the legal and legislative committee and the government rejected the bill, saying it will hurt the national economy. But the financial and economic affairs committee went ahead and approved the bill and sent it for the Assembly for approval. The committee defended its decision, saying there was no violation to the constitution.

During the weekly session, two lawmakers said yesterday they will file to grill Information Minister Mohammad Al-Jabri over alleged violations in authorities under his supervision, especially the agricultural authority. MP Riyadh Al-Adasani said he will file next week to grill Jabri over violations regarding the distribution of agricultural plots and the so-called professional sport facility. The information minister is responsible for the agricultural authority and the sports authority. Later, MP Adel Al-Damkhi said he will join Adasani in the grilling over the agricultural violations. The Assembly will decide after two weeks whether to debate the grilling immediately or give the minister two more weeks.

The Assembly also agreed to debate a draft law granting civil rights to bedoons (stateless people) after two weeks based on a motion signed by 29 MPs. The government agreed and said it will be prepared for the debate on the future of bedoons and their problems. MP Mohammad Hayef, a member of the human rights panel, said the government agreed to discuss the draft law for bedoons’ social and civil rights in the next session. He said the human rights panel will discuss any suspicions over the draft law. He welcomed a decision by the Assembly to form a committee to investigate the issue of passports that some bedoons had purchased from foreign countries and turned out to be fake.

By B Izzak and Agencies