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Minister confirms MEW staff allowances will not be cut

KUWAIT: Minister of Electricity and Water and Minister of Oil Essam Al-Marzouq denied plans to deduct Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) employees’ allowances retroactively, and stressed that he had instructed relevant departments to quickly pay the allowances to those who deserve them as per the regulations. Marzouq’s confirmations were made on receiving Kuwait Engineers Society Chairman Faisal Dowaih Al-Ottol and a number of board members in his office Tuesday to explain the efforts they exerted. They demanded equality in receiving allowances for hazard, noise, pollution and various other reasons like those their peers in the oil sector get.

Ottol also demanded mandating MEW engineers to get the society’s membership as a condition to practice the profession. He also noted that the minister was briefed about a plan to raise power efficiency, noting that the same plan was used last summer at various mosques and helped save 60 percent of the electricity by using smart power systems.

Meanwhile, Secretary General of MEW’s Labor Union Nawaf BuYabes said the allowance will be paid the same way it was paid before without compromising the rights of any employee, and the union’s board is following closely what is going on at the administrative office and that they are working hard on entering the data of each employee who has ‘remote area allowance’ at the instructions of Marzouq. BuYabes said the union will send a letter to the Civil Service Commission to amend decision 4/2012 which did not justify employees, and urged departments that sent lists of its employees to write to the ministry to act quickly.

With the presence of Minster of Social Affairs and Labor and Minister of State for Economic Affairs Hind Al-Sabeeh, the Public Authority for Manpower celebrated its third anniversary yesterday. The ceremony was attended by the authority’s acting director Abdullah Al-Motoutah, top authority officials and members of the diplomatic corps in Kuwait. Sabeeh stressed that the most important and strategic goal set by the authority was automating transactions, which had been already done by launching the authority’s online services system.

Sabeeh explained that over 43 of the authority’s services can now be done online after concerned companies set up their usernames and passwords. “This will reduce crowding at the authority’s departments, reduce traffic jams and help companies with large numbers of employees issue work permits and all other transactions easily on a 24/7 basis,” she explained, noting that the authority managed to increase its revenues to KD 47 million. She also noted that the authority would be linked with the Manpower and Government Restructuring Program (MGRP) on June 1.

Motoutah said seven companies would temporarily benefit from the ‘Ashal’ project that was experimentally launched by Sabeeh, until the service is generalized to all companies. Motoutah added that a special media awareness campaign targets all parties involved in the production process, especially in terms of employers’ and employees’ rights and duties. He also stressed that the authority takes very good care of the rights of laborers working in Kuwait through special laws and legislations, such as law number 109/2013 establishing the authority and law number 6/2016 pertaining work in the private sector.

Citizenship law
Chairman of the parliament’s priorities committee MP Thamer Al-Suwait announced that the most important topics on the agenda of the committee’s next meeting would include proposed amendments to the citizenship law. He explained that the suggested amendments include subjecting the decision to cancel or withdraw citizenships to the administrative court. Suwait added that the committee would also discuss cutting interest rates on loans provided by the social insurance authority. He added that the committee had already discussed regulating the pharmacists’ profession with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and stressed that the related executive charter would be issued within three months.

By Meshaal Al-Enezi

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