KUWAIT: Iraq’s starting eleven pose for a group picture ahead of the 2017 Gulf Cup of Nations football match between Iraq and Yemen at the Kuwait Stadium in Kuwait City on December 29, 2017. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: Responding to Iraqi minister of interior Qassim Al-Aaraji’s announcement that he had asked his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah to allow the entry of Iraqi fans to attend their national team’s matches at the 23rd Arabian Gulf Cup, MP Mohammad Barrak Al-Mutair rejected the idea, sending a ‘Tweet’ in which he called upon Kuwait’s government not to open the borders for security reasons, taking into consideration the deteriorated security situations in Iraq and the possibility that terrorists might infiltrate along with the fans.

Water security
Responding to an inquiry made by MP Majed Al-Mutairi, the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) denied intentions to import fresh water from outside, and stressed that constant studies were in progress to find various water resources that would help achieve water security. The ministry explained that a local company had proposed importing water, but no decision was made. The proposal might be taken into consideration if feasibility studies show that the cost of importing water is less that producing water locally through desalination.

Overdue allowances
MP Mohammed Al-Howailah demanded undoing the Civil Service Commission’s (CSC) decision on cutting down the salaries of doctors dispatched on scholarships and demanded paying all scholarship students overdue allowances. Howailah stressed that it was unacceptable to make such decisions “that will negatively affect scholarship students,” and called for providing them with the most suitable atmosphere to help them achieve success. Howailah stressed that dispatched scholars had their own financial obligations and reminded that His Highness the Amir had called for supporting youth studying abroad to make things easier for them instead of distracting them between focusing on their studies and enduring the burdens of the high cost of living. Howailah called the Ministry of Higher Education to investigate the reasons behind delaying dispatched scholars’ allowances and called for forming a special committee to review rises in the cost of living in the countries where those scholars are dispatched to look into increasing their allowances accordingly.

Progressive Movement
The Kuwait Progressive Bloc recently announced changing its name to Kuwait Progressive Movement in view of the changes that took place over the past seven years since the bloc was founded.

Live ammunition drill
Kuwait Army Moral Guidance Directorate announced that marine forces will conduct a live ammunition drill on January 3 and 4, 2018 from 7:00 am till 5:00 pm in the marine area located 16.5 miles off Jelai’a Cape all the way to Garouh island and the area located 6 miles off eastern Zour Cape all the way to Um Al-Maradem island. Thus, all fishermen and picnickers are advised to stay away from the designated areas.

Railway project
The Ministry of Public Works (MPW) stressed that the railway project will not be offered for bidding until all obstacles along its route were removed. MPW added that the project’s initial feasibility study was made by Ernst & Young (financial advisors), Atkins (technical advisors) and Ashort as legal advisors in 2012 before another one was made in 2016 under the supervision of the Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects (KAPP). MPW added that the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) and the Ministry of Services were contacted to locate and remove route obstacles.

Roads Authority
The Public Authority for Roads and Land Transport’s Deputy Chairman Soud Al-Naqi said that the authority held a meeting two weeks ago with officials from the Ministry of Interior (MOI) and parliamentary financial affairs committee to discuss the departments that will be transferred from MOI to the authority. Naqi said that a meeting will be held following the new year vacation with chairman Ahmed Al-Hessan to discuss the authority’s strategy to focus on mega projects such as that of the railway.

Small businesses
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry intends to increase the number of activities included in the small business projects to 60, including food and catering, said informed sources, noting that coordination with the food authority and Kuwait municipality is in progress to monitor and inspect such activities.

By Meshaal Al-Enezi and A Saleh