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Departments coordinate to reduce security, cleaning, handling laborers by 25 percent

KUWAIT: This archive photo shows laborers working on a project in Kuwait. The photo was used for illustrative purposes.

KUWAIT: The Public Authority for Manpower constantly coordinates with various ministries and state departments in order to reduce security, cleaning and handling laborers working in government projects by 25 percent, deputy director Hassan Al-Khodor said. He added that such coordination comes in view of the Cabinet’s related decisions, and stressed that various bodies expressed readiness to make the reductions as a step towards resolving Kuwait’s demographic imbalances and stop hiring expats without proper studies.


Separately, the parliament’s replacement and employment committee demanded that government bodies create new jobs for Kuwaitis who are holders of undesired qualifications, especially those with intermediate school certificates, as they number 7,037 out of 12,000 unemployed people, Al-Rai reported yesterday. Most recent statistics show that those with intermediate and lower certificates form the biggest group looking for jobs at the Civil Service Commission (CSC), most of whom are females, who number 5,912 out of the abovementioned 7,037. The committee called for serious government steps to reduce the number of expats. It added in a memo that some jobs should have special consideration because they suit those without certificates.


Head of the Committee MP Khalil Al-Saleh said providing job opportunities to those with intermediate certificates is among the most important measures, because these people make up the majority of jobseekers, adding that qualifying them and finding jobs for them is a correct step that will help resolve the unemployment problem.


Meanwhile, committee member Mohammad Al-Dallal said: “There is a loss of priorities related to dealing with manpower and implementing the replacement policy by giving Kuwaitis priority in employment and even pushing them to work in the private sector.” He said the numbers of foreign communities must be reviewed, especially the Egyptian and Filipino ones.


Dallal said Kuwait is not in need of so many workers, and what is needed is quality and productive labor, and there should be rules for this. He said there should be a strategy to reduce the number of expats, because it has to do with national security. He said marginal labor constitutes a burden on the country and calls for replacement are mere slogans raised and not implemented.


Cancelled projects


Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Hossam Al-Roumi said the actual cost of the five cancelled road projects is KD 527 million. Roumi added that the Public Authority for Roads and Transportation (PART) still has no organizational, administrative, financial or legal structure to serve those projects. “According to the authority’s establishment law, it will not become independent until all relevant liabilities and specialties are transferred to it from concerned ministries – Ministry of Interior (MoI), Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW), Kuwait Municipality and the Ministry of Services,” Roumi underlined.


Roumi explained that the projects were cancelled after detecting some violations in the procedures followed to qualify some international companies for the road tenders as per the qualification principles declared in 2010 and amended in 2012.  Responding to a question about legal and financial consequences of the cancellation, Roumi stressed that article 32 of law number 49/2016 concerning public tenders state that a bidder is not considered qualified for a tender unless all tender conditions are met. He added that the law also authorizes the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) to halt the tender procedures and cancel it for the greater good.


Meanwhile, chairman of MPW employees’ syndicate Anwar Al-Azmi stressed, in response to an inquiry by MP Faisal Al-Kandari, that the syndicate had received several complaints by Kuwaiti youth working for PART, in which they complained about the authority director’s abuse of powers and mismanagement, which drives away Kuwaiti youth. Azmi urged Kandari to contact the syndicate to review the complaints himself, noting that some of the complaints remain unattended to although they had been filed over four months earlier. He also urged the minister of public works and lawmakers to intervene and undo the injustice faced by Kuwaiti youth working for the road authority.


Full salary


Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and Minister of State for Economic Affairs Hind Al-Sabeeh seconded a proposal made by MP Khalil Abdullah concerning paying an employee escorting a disabled person on a medical trip full salary, and that the Civil Service Commission (CSC) should pay a disabled person’s tuition fees from the age of 3 to 19. “Such a proposal will provide the disabled with educational services and help them get equally integrated in the society, and work and produce like their healthy peers,” she underlined.


Fishermen respond


Kuwait Fishermen Union issued a statement to comment on a video showing dead fish on Abdullah Port’s coast, for which the Environment Public Authority (EPA) blamed fishermen. The union criticized what it called ‘pointing fingers at fishermen without any solid proof’ and denied that fishermen would throw unwanted fish back in the sea. The union also stressed that shrimping is being done 12 miles off all Kuwaiti islands and shores, which totally refutes EPA ‘allegations’.


By A Saleh and Mehsaal Al-Enezi


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