oilKUWAIT: The finance ministry strongly denied some local papers’ stories published yesterday concerning the government’s intentions to increase gasoline prices to 100 fils per liter next year. A statement issued by the ministry explained that a committee presided by the finance minister was currently studying the issue comprehensively within a larger study, reconsidering various types of subsidies and beneficiaries from each type. The statement stressed that there was no intention to partially or entirely lift subsidies on goods or public services. “The government is not trying to reduce subsidies, it is rather working on paying them to real beneficiaries in order to achieve justice,” the statement said.

Violating companies
Acting Manpower Authority Director Abdullah Al-Motoutah said that a new batch of violating companies would be sent to the Ministry of Interior for investigations. “We have been referring 300-400 violating companies to MOI every month,” he said noting that many violations had been detected through periodic inspection while some of the referred companies had been earlier warned and notified to check with the authority but they did not. “Some companies were found in violation of safety measures,” he added. Further, Motoutah said that proceedings followed in laborer-employer conflicts would be unified with less paper work so that all complaints and conflicts could be referred to courts within a maximum of one month. He added that any delay beyond that period would subject the concerned legal investigator to accountability. In addition, Motoutah said that 580 expat laborers registered with companies suspended by code 71 had so far benefited from the grace period given to legalize their statuses before August 1st and that around 90 percent of them had already left the country.

Kuwaiti Gitmo hearing
US authorities are scheduled to hold a hearing for the Kuwaiti Gitmo detainee, Fayez Al- Kandary, today pending a final ruling after 12 years of detention without being tried by a court of law. Notably, Citizen Fayez Kandary had been detained at Gitmo prison since 2002 without any legal cause; He never had a fair trial nor directly charged of anything so far. Kandary was arrested by Pakistani authorities in 2002 and handed over to the US. He attended over four hundred interrogation sessions during which he was brutally tortured but never changed his plea that he was innocent. Nonetheless, US authorities still refuse releasing him without explaining the reason.

Psychiatric hospital
The criminal court yesterday decided referring a citizen accused of murdering his ex-wife to the psychiatric diseases hospital to examine his mental state and abilities.

Environmental violations
Environment Public Authority (EPA) Deputy Director for Technical Affairs Mohammed Al- Enezi said that by power of the Environmental Protection Law, EPA is now authorized to refer environmental violations directly to prosecution and that citizens could report any violations they detect to EPA.

Preventive detention
Kuwait Lawyers Association (KLA) strongly criticized the executive intention to issue a ‘necessity’ decree law amending the Penal Law in terms of preventive detention. “According to the constitution, necessity decrees can only be issued in certain cases,” KLA’s chairman, Abdul Rahman Al-Barrak underlined noting that nothing justifies taking such a measure because such an amendment would pose violation to both liberties and the constitution.

Salmi project
Municipal Council member Ahmed Al- Bughaili accused the government of impeding major industrial projects as the council had already allocated 100 kilometers to build an industrial area in Salmi on March 19, 2013, but nobody has heard about a single project built there so far. “Compared to other GCC states, Kuwait’s industries sector is very small because government policies do not encourage investors,” he said underlining that the industries sector was the only one capable of changing the nature of Kuwait’s economy.

Alcohol detection
Lawyer Mohammed Ahmed Taleb recently urged the interior ministry to equip policemen at various checkpoints with alcohol detection devices so they could conduct the test themselves on the spot whenever they suspect any driver of being under the influence. Taleb justified his demands by the fact that policemen had recently referred many citizens and expats, regardless of their jobs and positions, to forensic medicine for suspicion of being intoxicated where most of the test results came negative after having been detained for 48 hours to four days. “Many of them [may] sue MOI demanding considerable compensations,” he warned noting that unless alcohol detection devices were used, Taleb would sue the ministry to mandate it to use them.

By Meshaal Al-Enezi