Lawmaker calls for halt on employing unskilled expats

Panel rules premier grilling unconstitutional

MP Khalil Al-Saleh

KUWAIT: Head of a National Assembly committee entrusted with urging government agencies to employ more Kuwaitis by replacing expatriates yesterday called on the government to immediately stop employing unskilled expatriates and implement a real replacement policy. MP Khalil Al-Saleh, head of the human resources development committee, complained that government agencies and ministries do not provide accurate and updated statistics about replacement of expatriates by Kuwaitis and the unemployment crisis among nationals.

The lawmaker demanded that the government should provide the committee with regular statistics about the number of expatriates who have been dismissed and the number of Kuwaitis who were appointed in their place. Saleh said he plans to submit a detailed report to Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem about how government departments fail to provide the required replacement timelines to enable the committee to devise a strategy based on solid and real figures.

The lawmaker called on the government to “immediately halt the appointment of unskilled expatriates and implement a real and effective replacement policy” and stop appointing expatriates under other categories to avoid including them in statistics. Saleh said the committee’s patience is about to run out because government authorities responsible for replacement are clearly in favor of expatriates despite the fact that their technical standards are poor, excluding skilled manpower.

Meanwhile, the Assembly’s legal and legislative committee has decided that the grilling filed against the prime minister by MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri in November is unconstitutional, rapporteur of the panel said. MP Khalil Abul said the committee received the final report from constitutional experts and yesterday met and decided unanimously that the grilling violates the constitution. But the lawmaker said he is not sure if the committee report on the issue will be ready in time to be debated in today’s regular Assembly session, adding that he doubts it will be ready.

The grilling was submitted by the opposition lawmaker in November, holding the premier of being responsible for the failure of government agencies in dealing effectively with torrential rain that lashed the country, causing heavy damage. The Assembly will debate and vote on whether to accept or reject the report. Muwaizri did not comment on the outcome of the decision of the committee and had declined to attend its meetings to explain his viewpoint.

Muwaizri however warned Housing Minister Jenan Bushehri about providing what he claims “false information” about him in response to a parliamentary question. He said the minister has to be ready and has to prepare the documents necessary to prove her claims against him. The Assembly is expected to debate today another controversial issue about the amended version of the early retirement law over which there are several conflicting views by lawmakers.

By B Izzak