More efforts expected to examine expat laborers’ degrees
KUWAIT: The government reviewed a report about Kuwaitis’ employment in the private sector and implementing the replacement policy in the government sector in specialties Kuwaitis have, informed sources said. Reports on employment obstacles were presented to the government as well as opportunities for Kuwaitis in the private sector, said the sources, adding that private companies are still reluctant to hire Kuwaitis despite the increase in their employment compared to previous years.
In the meantime, the sources said the coming period is expected to see further procedures to verify the authenticity of expats’ degrees in cooperation with professional societies as well as the higher education ministry, adding that the examinations may reveal many forgeries committed by expats. The sources said a decision to increase percentages of Kuwaitis’ employment in the private sector may be issued before the end of the current year, and will increase the percentage to 90 percent for banks and telecommunications companies.
Meanwhile, labor statistics report for GCC countries from 2013 to 2017 revealed that expat labor in Kuwait rose by 1.8 percent compared to the population. The report showed a drop in Kuwaiti workers in 2017 by 1.3 percent compared to previous years. Compared to numbers mentioned in Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI) stats of the total number of workers until the start of this year, expat labor rose to 81 percent of the total workforce in the country, a jump from 66.5 percent.
In other news, informed sources said the completion percentage in the expat labor cities projects south of Jahra is 65 percent, adding that work on the project began in 2014 and is expected to be completed in 2021. The sources said Kuwait aims to create integrated cities at a highly organized level that provide the necessary services that guarantee a dignified life.
They said that quickly building labor cities is highly important for the Kuwait society because it is related to dealing with a group that did not have suitable residence for a long time, which created negative repercussions on the society. They said the project will provide residence to more than 20,000 laborers in south Jahra at a cost of KD 135 million.
The parliamentary budgets committee said estimations of expenses related to the Public Authority for Food and Nutrition for the year 2019/2020 are higher by 441 percent compared with the previous fiscal year, including around KD 2 million to equip laboratories, while the authority continuously finds hurdles to carry out its role. The committee said the authority’s expenses during the fiscal year 2017/2018 amounted to KD 6 million, 85 percent of which was spent as the authority carried out 17 financial transfers at a total of KD 402,000, which indicates the budget has lost its importance as a tool of control, supervision, follow up and performance evaluation, as transfers in 26 percent of the total budget items were made due to a lack of technical and financial studies.
The shortage of food testing labs will negatively reflect on prices in the vegetable market on most imported products due to delays in releasing them. The committee said actual expenses of the authority amounted to KD 5 million, while it collected KD 52,000, with the finance ministry financing the difference according to closing accounts data. Estimation of expenses for the current fiscal year is KD 31 million, with only KD 2 million expected to be collected.
Contracts and agreements
Health Minister Sheikh Dr Basel Al-Sabah instructed the drugs and medical supplies sector to implement the rules pertaining to contracts and agreements to be signed between the ministry and companies that are contracted to supply materials or render services to the ministry, according to the fatwa and legislation establishment law 12/1960, the rules of law 49/1960 and the rules of law 49/2016 with regards to public tenders and law 30/1960 to establish the Audit Bureau. It is important to comply with the following: The supervisory authorities must be provided with a unified contract number; Names of companies and contract values should match those mentioned in the approved letter from the Central Agency for Public Tenders; Complying with the amendments of the fatwa and legislation department; Writing the full guarantee data (guarantee number, value, bank name, dates of starting and ending); Printing the name of the company representative and his civil ID on the front of the contract, and not handwrite it; The legal representative of the second party must be authorized to sign, and the authorization should be authenticated by the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry; All papers of meetings minutes of the permanent drugs committee should be submitted; Contracting procedures should not be delayed.
By A Saleh and Meshaal Al-Enezi