National Assembly Speaker Ahmed Al- Saadoun has submitted a bill on enforcing reciprocity procedures in granting entry visas for the citizens of foreign countries, matching the visa regulations that these countries apply on Kuwaitis. According to the bill, the Council of Ministers shall specify the regulations concerning every country in line with the visa regulations and conditions they apply on the citizens of Kuwait.
Al-Saadoun pointed out in the explanatory memorandum that some countries enforce tough regulations such as taking fingerprints and other requirements for Kuwaitis applying for a visa. He stressed the need for Kuwait to take the same measures.
MP Daoud Maarefi submitted a proposal for banks to release the financial guarantee that the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) imposed on the owners of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) one year after the money was deposited in the banks. He suggested that PAM should report to the financing institutions in case the SMEs commit violations like hiring workers who are not under their sponsorship or bringing workers to Kuwait without giving them jobs. In view of the decision of the Constitutional Court to nullify Article 198 of Penal Code number 16/1960.
MP Khalid Al-Otaibi submitted a bill to amend this article to be as follows: “Whoever engages in immoral acts in public where he can be seen or heard by other people, deliberately acts like the opposite gender even if he is not suffering from a certain health condition, decorates his clothes or wears clothes which violate the local customs except for cultural purposes and in certain places, will be imprisoned for one year or fined KD 1,000 maximum. The judge has the authority to send the offender to the concerned health centers if necessary. In case the offender repeats the crime within three years after the issuance of the court verdict against him, he will be imprisoned for two years maximum and fined KD 2,000 maximum.”
Meanwhile, MP Jenan Bu Shehri praised the decision of HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah to suspend the implementation of a resolution on granting exceptional salaries to senior officials. She also lauded the directive to review the retirees’ pension. She disclosed that she will submit a memorandum on the legal and administrative violations associated with the suspended decision; which is the main point of the grilling motion she filed against Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and National Assembly Affairs Essa Al-Kandari.
On the other hand, MP Ahmed Lari has asked Al-Kandari to provide him with the necessary information including the total amount allocated for the salaries and allowances — more than KD 5,000 per senior official and consultant; percentage of this amount compared to the total budget for salaries and allowances; number of officials and consultants receiving KD 5,000 and up; and their percentage compared to the total number of workers.
MP Adel Al-Damkhi has forwarded queries to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahd Al-Sabah about the announcement of the US Department of Defense in February 2022 about a potential agreement with Kuwait to establish the new headquarters of the Ministry of Defense at a total cost of $1 billion.
Al-Damkhi wants to know if the Ministry of Defense conducted a study to determine the total number of buildings, services and infrastructure needed for military and civilian purposes; and if the study includes the estimated cost and possible extension of construction works in the future. If yes, he requested for a copy of the study. If no, he inquired about the reasons for not conducting such a study. He also asked if the Engineering Department reviewed the conditions, terms and qualifications for establishing the new headquarters of the ministry and military buildings as per the Amiri Decree issued on June 15, 1969 on organizing the ministry and Ministerial Resolution number 1467 for the year 2007.
If no, he wants to know the reasons for not implementing the Amiri Decree and ministerial resolution. He inquired if the ministry obtained the budget needed for the implementation of the project from its finance counterpart; if the project is included in the program of the government for fiscal 2022/2023; and if approvals were obtained from the State Audit Bureau, Legal Advice and Legislation Department, Bureau of Financial Controllers and Council of Ministers for the memorandum of understanding signed with the US Department of Defense for the design and construction of the new headquarters of the ministry. He wants to know the legal basis for combining the design and construction works in one agreement, which violates Article 39 of Public Tenders Law number 49/2016; rationale behind the signing of an international agreement on the establishment of a local building — a violation of Decree number 95/ 2017 on forming purchase committees for military equipment and contracting projects, as well as Chapter Two of law number 49/2016 on the establishment of the Central Agency for Public Tenders, particularly the provision on obtaining the lowest price and the best offer.
MP Marzouq Al-Ghanim forwarded queries to HH the Prime Minister about the interview of MP Hassan Jawhar that was uploaded YouTube on Sept 11, 2022; in which Jawhar states he had in his possession the evidence of the alleged transfer of about KD150 million from secret bank accounts to the bank accounts of some incumbent and former ministers. He wants to know the measures that HH the Prime Minister took after receiving the file from Jawhar, names of current and former ministers involved in the case, amount transferred and date, and legal basis of the money transfer.
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