KUWAIT: Lawmakers yesterday called on the government to issue a decision imposing a total ban on the appointment of expatriates in government jobs in a bid to resolve what they called unemployment among citizens. The call came during an Assembly session to discuss the 2016/2017 budgets of nine new government authorities. MPs also called on the government to diversify sources of income.
Minister of Finance and Acting Oil Minister Anas Al-Saleh said that the Civil Service Commission has indeed issued a decision banning the appointment of expatriates in government jobs except in urgent need. Based on the decision, government ministries and departments willing to appoint non-Kuwaitis should first consult with the Commission which study each case separately.
Justice and Awqaf Minister Yacoub Al-Sane said the Kuwaitization of the judiciary jobs is the responsibility of the Supreme Judicial Council. He said he asked the Public Prosecutor about the possibility of increasing the number of Kuwaitis to be appointed as prosecutors. During the debate, MP Jamal Al-Omar said a decision to impose a total ban on the appointment of expatriates in the government is to “resolve a real unemployment problem among Kuwaiti youth”.
He said that the government talks something on this matter but it does something totally different regarding appointment of foreigners. Head of the Budgets Committee MP Adnan Abdulsamad said that certain ministries and government departments fail to abide by guidelines governing the appointment of expatriates by hiring expat employees through recruitment companies.
Under this scheme, these companies recruit expats who work for the government but without being counted as part of the civil servants. Abdulsamad said that the value of cleaning contracts has ballooned from KD 59 million to KD 235 million within a short period. He said Municipality officials acknowledge the inflated contracts. He said that recycling is the best solution for garbage but government departments differ whether such a project is profitable or not.
In a related development, the Finance Minister also explained that the council of ministers has authorized a study to merge government departments with similar functions. The nine departments and authorities the Assembly approved their budgets include the Agricultural Authority, Public Authority for Youth and Sports, Public Authority for Minors, Kuwaiti Municipality, the National Assembly, Authority for printing the holy Quran and Sunah, Direct Investment Promotion Authority, Public Private Partnership Authority and Capital Markets Authority. The Assembly will meet again today to continue debating budgets.
By B Izzak