Apr 26 2012
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National Assembly Approves Jaber Al-Ahmed University Bill
KUWAIT CITY, April 26:
The National Assembly unanimously approved a draft bill on the establishment of Jaber Al-Ahmed University draft bill in its second reading. The university aims to provide qualified development and sciences personnel to support the development and economic sectors of the country.
Following amendments and recommendations to the 38 articles of the law, 53 MPs voted in its favor. The government had recommended shortening the university name from Jaber University for Applied Sciences to Jaber Al-Ahmed University.
According to Article 2, "the government establishes a financially, academically and administratively independent government university, within three years from the issuance of the law." The Education Minister must also provide the assembly with a detailed report every three months on the procedures taken to implement the law.
The university will be established with colleges that award bachelors degrees. This includes the Basic Education College as well as colleges for engineering, law and administrative sciences and any other colleges that are affiliated with the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training.
On his part, Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education Dr Nayef Al-Hajraf expressed his hope "that Jaber Al-Ahmed University will become a reality so that it may graduate qualified individuals who will work on building the nation." He added that the ministry "takes into account the importance of educational institutions that are given autonomy in decision-making so that they may fulfill their mission towards the community and the country."
The Assembly also discussed the recent fire which overtook a used-tire wasteland in Rhayya. The lawmakers lamented that the concerned ministers are refusing to take accountability and urged the government to put a strategy in place to prevent such environmental disasters from occurring.
Chairman of the Environment Affairs and Nuclear Energy Committee, MP Hamad Al-Matar said he does not yet know who is responsible for the incident.
The Cabinet, however, requested the Assembly to postpone investigations into the case, by the environment committee, for two weeks. Nevertheless, other recommendations were approved, which included fast-tracking the environment protection law.
The recommendations also called for laws that encourage the private sector and small enterprises to invest in the environment; the allocation of areas for the recycling of waste material; introduction of awareness programs; and commissioning the environment committee to prepare a report on the Rhayya incident.
Speaker of Parliament, Ahmed Al-Saadoun adjourned the session to May 8.
MP Salem Al-Namlan has forwarded questions to Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Ahmed Al-Rujeib on the measures taken against the companies which delay the issuance of civil IDs to their expatriate workers or the payment of their salaries.
Al-Namlan asked the minister to provide him with names of these companies and whether he received complaints from the workers on the delayed payment of their salaries or not. He wants to know if the salaries of cleaning workers are paid monthly and the reasons in case of delayed payment. He inquired why the minimum salary of these workers has not been raised to KD100, considering the rising cost of living, nature of their work and harsh working environment. He urged the minister to look into the possibility of changing the working hours of cleaners to be in the morning and evening in order to protect them from extreme weather conditions.
The lawmaker asked if the ministry closely monitors the erring companies, particularly those which have delayed the payment of salaries and issuance of civil IDs for more than three months or prevented the workers from travelling to their home countries. He also proposed providing transportation for the laborers to and from their work places. He explained these workers are usually exposed to dangerous substances, especially since they stand behind the garbage trucks. He said the ministry should find a way for these workers to stay inside the trucks or provide them with a separate vehicle to transport them to their work areas.
In another development, official spokesperson of the Development and Reform Bloc MP Dr Faisal Al-Mislem confirmed Thursday that the group has five new members, increasing the total number of members to nine. He disclosed the new members include MPs Mohammed Al-Dallal, Mubarak Al-Waalan, Dr Hamad Al-Matar, Abdullah Al-Bargash and Osama Al-Shaheen. The old members are Al-Mislem, Dr Jamaan Al-Harbash, Dr Waleed Al-Tabtabaei and Falah al-Sawagh.
Al-Mislem said the bloc recently discussed their restructuring plan to continue their coordinative efforts with the parliamentary majority and the government. He added the bloc will hold a press conference on Sunday to announce their vision for the next stage and the reformative projects they will present in the future.
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