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Draft law calls to halt work if mercury hits 50

KUWAIT: Islamist opposition MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei yesterday proposed a draft law calling to halt work at government departments, universities and schools when the temperature hits 50 degrees Celsius as measured by the official meteorology department. The bill does not apply to private sector establishments. The bill stipulates that work will be halted immediately once the temperature reaches 50 degrees and that all concerned bodies and institutions must be provided with displays to show the exact official temperature.

Tabtabaei said in the explanatory note of the bill that it aims at providing protection to employees against harsh environmental factors, especially extremely hot days in the summer months. He said the draft law requires authorities to take all necessary precautions to protect employees and students from the heat by sending them home when the temperature reaches this mark. Temperatures hit 50 degrees Celsius several times during the summer months from May to September. The mercury has already exceeded 50 degrees a few days this year.

Meanwhile, five lawmakers yesterday submitted a draft law to regulate and organize charity societies and fundraising operations, which proposes hefty jail terms for violators. It calls for the establishment of a committee comprised of the undersecretaries of the ministries of social affairs, interior, finance and foreign affairs, in addition to heads of a number of concerned departments.

The committee will regulate, supervise and monitor the raising and distribution of charity funds inside and outside the country. The committee will also file lawsuits against violators. The committee will also receive applications to license fundraising campaigns. Applicants must explain the purpose of the campaign and where the money will be spent. The draft law bans collecting donations for armed groups or for groups with principles and objectives opposed to Kuwaiti laws or groups classified as terrorist ones by Kuwait or other states.

The bill also bans raising charity for the purpose of purchasing arms for any purpose or any other material banned in Kuwait or by the country where the funds will be spent. The law bars raising funds to support military activities outside Kuwait, as only the ministries of defense and interior are authorized to raise charity for military activities inside or outside the country. The law bans collecting money by cash or through bank transfers and restricts collection to ATM devices. Violators of various provisions of the proposed law are subject to jail terms ranging from three to seven years – to be doubled in case of repetition. The new proposed law differs from the existing law in barring any donations for armed groups or those classified as terrorist organizations.

By B Izzak


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