Schools to be built as PPP projects
KUWAIT: Kuwait Fishermen Union (KFU) officials said that they were surprised that fishermen were kicked out of their residences. “There are those who want to eradicate the fishing profession by harassing fishermen since the past few years. Despite the problems we are facing, we will continue to back fishermen’s just causes,” it said. Fishermen had reportedly received eviction orders yesterday, and were given a 48-hour period to leave their temporary residence located in Sharq so that it can be demolished. President of KFU Thaher Suwayan said what is going on will force expat workers to go to neighboring countries that care for fishing and appreciate their efforts, adding the Kuwaiti government does not ignore fishermen’s rights, but “there are those who hinder their necessary requirements.” Suwayan appealed to Social Affairs and Labor Minister Hind Al-Sabeeh to intervene with concerned authorities to complete the fishermen’s village to protect the fishing profession.
Banks in Kuwait will soon start collecting tax information (from individuals and commercial entities) including profits, interest and income made from selling financial assets when the beneficiary is living outside the country, in order to activate the tax information data according to the joint disclosure system of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), informed sources said.
The sources said banks already made all preparations in this regard and prepared teams to contact clients and get the required information and make them fill a special form. This comes following the Central Bank’s request to all banks and financial institutes in Kuwait to take the necessary action to implement the standards of the joint disclosure treaty that Kuwait joined on Aug 19, 2016. The sources said the client will approve any accounts that must be declared with concerned authorities in Kuwait, and the date with the tax authorities in the country of residence. The client will be committed to inform the bank about any change that may affect the residency status for tax purposes within 30 days. He said banks have asked their employees not to open new accounts if the client refuses to fill in the self-declaration form for tax information exchange purposes, or if the form is not filled correctly.
Separately, Deputy Chairman of the indirect taxes project at the public authority for zakat and income in Saudi Arabia Suleiman Al-Dhuhayan said GCC countries are studying the expansion of the selective tax range to include additional projects. He said sugary products may be added due to the harm they cause. He said these items have not been discussed so far, adding that the selective tax will be borne by the end user according to a standardized list.
The Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects (KAPP) sent the government’s program project and the development plan of the education ministry to the State Audit Bureau for approval, and informed source said. The source said the plan is about designing, building, financing and operating nine schools – including five kindergartens, three elementary and one intermediate – in addition to an Olympic-size swimming pool and faculty residence. He said the authority completed all procedures with regards to this project and awaits the bureau’s approval so that the contract can be signed with the winning investor, adding that the project is the first of its kind based on the public-private-partnership (PPP) system and under the education sector in order meet increased demand for educational facilities. He said the capacity of these schools is estimated at 4,350 students in the Capital, Ahmadi, Hawally and Mubarak Al-Kabeer governorates.
In other news, the consultative offices committee discussed offers of the Sulaibkhat beachfront projects which the municipality will put out under the PPP system at an estimated cost of KD 1 million. Deputy General Manager for Projects Affairs Nadiya Al-Shareedah said the meeting that was held earlier is considered preliminary to receive questions of international consultants so that they decide the required cost of the study. She said the project contains main components such as hotels, flats, public beaches, shopping centers, residential compounds, an aqua park, sports areas, a marina, parks, general services and car parks.
The Public Authority for Sports (PAS), chaired by Minister of Commerce and Industry and Acting Minister of State for Youth Affairs Khaled Al-Roudhan, will hold a meeting today that was initially scheduled for yesterday. The decision was to give the judicial committee more time to decide the issues between Kuwait and Arabi clubs and give its final decision. Sources said the board will make in initial review of the new sports law which will be implemented after approval by PAS to replace the current law (34/2016). This is considered the first step to lift the sports ban on the international level.
Minister of Electricity and Water and Minister of Oil Essam Al-Marzouq gave instructions to cancel a decision that was made recently to suspend an allowance given to a number of Kuwaiti employees working in remote areas. Nawwaf Boyabes, Secretary General of the workers’ syndicate at the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) announced the news after meeting the minister yesterday, saying that the received promises that the problem would be resolved soon.
By A Saleh and Meshaal Al-Enezi