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Interior Minister says combating human trafficking is a top priority right now

His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah (left) and National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem walk side by side at the end of the session.

KUWAIT: Deputy Prime Minister, Interior Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh stressed that Kuwait’s security is a red line and combating human trafficking is one of the most important priorities of the current stage. This came by Al-Saleh during the parliament’s discussion of a letter from MP Abdulwahab Al-Babtain regarding the assignment of the Interior Minister to prepare a report on human trafficking and the Ministry’s mechanism to combat this phenomenon. Saleh affirmed that the names of those involved in the so-called human trafficking are with the Public Prosecution. The minister expressed sincere thanks and gratitude to all the ministry staff for their efforts in serving all citizens and residents and preserving the security and stability in the country.

Public health

Earlier during the session, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah stressed on necessity of ongoing cooperation between the government and the National Assembly for maintaining health guidelines and placing public health above all considerations. His Highness the Prime Minister, addressing lawmakers during a regular parliament session, indicated that he had addressed a message to the assembly requesting presentation of the government stance toward the issue of holding parliamentary sessions, in light of the efforts against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The message was addressed, he noted, with the aim of maintaining the cooperation, adhering to the health instructions .. “for public health comes first and if there is no possibility to hold the National Assembly sessions virtually, there should be special sessions, along with specifying the topics (to be examined) as well as the duration to accomplish what is required in a matter of two to three hours.” His Highness the Prime Minister re-emphasized necessity to hold the sessions in shortest possible time, along with compliance by the health directions so that the National Assembly and the government present themselves as an example to be followed.

“Let me be frank, I am currently focusing on the number of beds available at the hospitals for those infected as well as those in the intensive care (wards) and the breathing apparatuses,” he said, also noting his special attention to maintaining sufficient medical teams, doctors and nurses and passing the crisis with the least possible damage. His Highness the Prime Minister, in his address to the legislators, urged them to tackle and discuss matters quickly and set an example “to those whom we have imposed on a curfew and remained in their houses for 20 days.”

“The State of Kuwait has not reached the safe zone in facing the coronavirus yet,” he declared, confirming health authorities’ statistics that the infection cases reached some 37,000 and deaths nearly 300. Intensive care wards are occupied by 44 percent and this should be taken into consideration and pursue the work with the same spirit in the coming period, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled added. His Highness the Prime Minister attributed large numbers of coronavirus infections among citizens to non-abidance by the health regulations. He further noted the government deep concern with the recent hike of infections among the citizens and re-stressed on the necessity of cooperation between the government and the parliament.

Thirteen letters

Meanwhile, the National Assembly approved during its regular session 13 letters under the item list of incoming messages during the session. Among those approved by the parliament is a letter regarding Decree No. 68 of 2020, concerning a draft law authorizing the government to hold public loans and financing operations from local and international financial markets, which was previously submitted to Assembly in Decree No. 183 of 2017. The Assembly also approved a letter from MPs Mohammad Al-Dalal and Abdullah Al-Kandari, requesting that the Parliamentary Public Utilities Committee commissioned to prepare an integrated report on the availability of agricultural and animal food security entrusted to the Public Authority for Agriculture and Fisheries Affairs, and such report by the committee should be submitted in this regard within a period not exceeding one month from the mandate.

The Assembly also approved a letter from the Chairman of the Parliamentary Human Resources Development Committee MP Khalil Al-Saleh, requesting that all proposals related to the issue of demographics and listed on the agendas of other parliamentary committees be referred to the Parliamentary Human Resources Committee for engagement. The parliament approved as well a letter from MP Mohammad Al-Dalal and Osama Al-Shaheen requesting that the State Audit Bureau be commissioned to prepare an integrated report on all government expenditures and procedures for the use of public funds in general and funds allocated to confront the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, to be submitted to the Assembly within three months. Among other letters approved by the Assembly is a one from MP Abdul Wahab Al-Babtain calling on the government represented by the Minister of Information to prepare a report on the irregular agricultural holdings that were withdrawn in the previous period and to clarify whether monitoring of all unexploited holdings and procedures has been completed followed in this regard within a month from the date of approval of this mandate.

Set of recommendations

A grilling by MP Faisal Al-Kandari against Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education, Dr Saud Al-Harbi ended Tuesday with a set of recommendations aimed at addressing shortcomings in educational process. Parliament speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem announced the end of the interpellation with the house approving recommendations, like a bill on state universities and enlisting a fourth warning for university students struggling with studies. The house also recommended a detailed plan for online education, transferring educational platform from its commercial domain to the government domains. The MPs called for reconsidering decreasing tuition of private schools and universities. MP Kandari questioned Harbi on mismanagement during the coronavirus crisis which negatively affected students, private schools’ collection of fees despite them being closed and lack of a vision for the online education. — KUNA

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