By A Saleh
KUWAIT: A parliamentary request was referred to the government demanding the cancelation of exemptions some ministries provide to expats, on the pretext that these exemptions “overburdens the state’s budget and negatively affects the services provided to citizens,” said official sources.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the sources added that the request came in the form of recommendations the government is urged to adapt, “otherwise lawmakers will turn it into a bill to be passed by parliament and thus become mandating to the government to avoid constitutional inquiries.”
Further, the sources explained that the recommendations include reducing the number of expats exempted from paying medical service fees in public hospitals and polyclinics, and restrict the exemption to expatriate children of Kuwaiti women and domestic helpers. “They also demand cancelling exemptions of doctors’ families,” the source remarked, referring to privileges the government provide to families of expatriate doctors hired in public health facilities.
In addition, the recommendations included reducing the categories of expats who have access to public education to only include children of Kuwaiti women, diplomats’ children and scholarship students. “Over 30,000 expat students currently study in public schools, which costs the government over KD 50 million and overburdens the state’s treasury,” the sources explained.
First female undersecretary
Minister of Oil and Minister of Electricity and Water Dr Khaled Al-Fadhel yesterday issued a ministerial decision to transfer the assistant undersecretary for control centers Mohammed Al-Haddad to the administrative affairs sectors, upon the latter’s request.
Fadhel also appointed engineer Maha Al-Assoussi as assistant undersecretary for control centers affairs, making her the first woman to assume the position of an assistant undersecretary in the Ministry of Electricity and Water’s history.
Meanwhile, the ministry’s purchases department announced a reverse auction to supply 1,000 smart electricity consumption meters, because the ministry needs to install them fast. Interested auctioneers will have to pay a fee of KD 10 to purchase the auction documents, in addition to a KD 150 insurance.
In this regard, assistant undersecretary for consumers’ affairs Meshaan Al-Otaibi said the ministry needs to install the 1,000 smart meters pending offering a major tender to supply and install 200,000 ones at a later date.