KUWAIT: Maj Gen Talal Maarafi chairs a high-level meeting with officials at the Residency Affairs Department.

KUWAIT: The Interior Ministry’s Assistant Undersecretary for Residency Affairs Maj Gen Talal Maarafi chaired a high-level meeting with officials at the Residency Affairs Departments to discuss ways of improving the process of work at residency affairs and service centers around the country. Meanwhile, the ministry’s Relations and Security Department denied reports claiming that Maarafi had held a similar meeting on Wednesday.

A news service had reported on its website that Maj Gen Maarafi met with heads of residency departments and received a detailed report about crowds of people applying to extend one month visit visas for their relatives, which affected work progress in those departments, according to the report. Furthermore, the report suggested that Maarafi announced during the meeting extending the family visit visas for parents and wives’ parents to three months instead of one.

However, the Interior Ministry denied yesterday that any decision was made, and urged media outlets to avoid reporting any news unless it is released by the Relations and Security Media Department. In other news, statistics issued by the Residency Affairs Department showed that the total number of who visited Kuwait this year reached 2.2 million, including visitors using commercial, touristic and family visit visas.

Meanwhile, Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and Minister of State for Economic Affairs Hind Al- Sabeeh announced that a new decision on expat labor visa transfer in the private sector would be issued soon. She added that the Public Authority for Manpower’s new board of directors had already approved some resolutions on regulating the local labor market, adding that those resolutions would be revealed soon.

On another concern, the ministry’s assistant undersecretary for social development affairs Hana Al-Hajri announced that the ministry offered for public bidding two tenders to maintain, develop and rehabilitate wedding halls in various governorates. Responding to social media comments about the deteriorated situation of those halls, Hajri added that most of them were in the same condition of lack of maintenance and old furniture when the ministry took over the responsibility for running them. “Special technical teams immediately started making reports about the halls’ conditions, and the ministry is currently awaiting the finance ministry’s approval to fund the two tenders,” she explained.

By A Saleh