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KUWAIT CITY, June 3: Through its concerned departments, the Kuwait Municipality branch in Hawally conducted an inspection campaign in several foodstuff shops to ensure strict compliance with the rules and regulations.

The campaign resulted in the issuance of 57 citations for various violations as well as destruction of 471 kilograms of spoilt meat, fish, fruits and dairy products.

The Municipality also conducted a similar campaign in Ahmadi Governorate – particularly Mahboula, Abu Halifa and Mangaf, leading to the issuance of 27 citations for various violations, removal of 74 unlicensed advertisements placed randomly on the streets, and closure of a shop.

Source: Arab Times

KUWAIT CITY, June 3: Minister of Health Dr Jamal Al-Harbi says the number of approvals issued by the Higher Committee for extension of treatment periods of overseas treatment patients reached 2,055 during the period from December 15 to April 10, reports Al-Qabas daily.

In response to a question posed by MP Rakan Al-Nisf, Dr Al-Harbi revealed that approvals for extension of treatments are for patients receiving treatment in Britain, the United States of America, France, Spain, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Belgium, Egypt, Lebanon, Italy, Switzerland and South Korea. It is worth mentioning that Ministry of Health held a press conference on May 3 to respond to the statements of some MPs concerning the numbers and budgets of overseas treatment under the current minister Dr Jamal Al-Harbi.

The officials said during the conference that the overseas treatment policy has changed from what it was before, and that the reports revealed a decrease in the number of overseas treatment cases in 2017.

Source: Arab Times

MP Faisal Al-Kandari

KUWAIT CITY, May 22: Several lawmakers have called on the concerned authorities to closely monitor markets, shops and cooperative societies in the holy month of Ramadan in order to prevent commercial fraud and price manipulation. MP Faisal Al-Kandari stressed the need to intensify efforts in monitoring markets, cooperative societies and shops during Ramadan; urging the concerned authorities to check consumer goods regularly. He asked the Consumer Protection Department in the Ministry of Commerce to form task forces for each governorate to prevent price manipulation. He said all those proven to have violated the law must be referred to the Public Prosecution and punished accordingly, such as closure of erring establishments.

He also urged the concerned authorities to refrain from compromising with those who violated the law as they should be held accountable, especially those who take advantage of occasions like the holy month of Ramadan to earn higher profits.

MP Riyadh Al-Adsani alleged that some companies and traders are taking advantage of occasions including Ramadan and Eid holidays, so the government must be responsible enough in controlling prices and checking the quality of products. He underscored the importance of coordination between inspectors in the ministries of Commerce, Social Affairs and Municipality Affairs to monitor markets and cooperative societies; adding that more than KD 500 million of purchasing power come from cooperative societies.

In another development, MP Auda Al- Ruwaiei confirmed appropriateness of the interpellation request that he and MP Khalil Abdullah intend to submit against Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Mohammad Al-Faris who has not taken even a single step to address issues raised earlier. He said the interpellation request is ready and it consists of five points — the most important of which are the universities and fake certificates. He added the request will most likely be submitted at the beginning of the next legislative round, because they have no time to do so within the current round.

Study
On the other hand, the committee tasked to study points of the two interpellation requests against HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al- Hamad Al-Sabah laid down its working mechanism on Monday. Committee Rapporteur MP Rakan Al-Nisf disclosed the panel will invite the prime minister to its meeting next week. He expects the committee to address irregularities highlighted in the two grilling motions, hoping the committee will submit its report to the Parliament soon. Moreover, the commission of inquiry tasked to look into violations in the Ministry of Health on Monday talked about its agenda for the coming days.

Committee Rapporteur MP Sadoun Hammad Al-Otaibi affirmed that an agreement has been reached to extend the work of the committee until the beginning of the next legislative round, indicating a request in this regard will be submitted to National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim soon. He added the committee has obtained approval for its members to travel to America, France, Britain and Germany to investigate violations in the Kuwaiti health offices in these countries.

He said the State Audit Bureau provided the commission with a box of documents about the irregularities found in the Health Ministry. He also unveiled a plan to summon the former minister and undersecretary. In the meantime, the food and agriculture authorities have assured the parliamentary Finance Committee that the local market needs another livestock company.

Committee Rapporteur Safa Al- Hashim said, “We have a community that eats rabbits, so why the government does not produce rabbits, especially since the private sector made profits from that?” She added they will not accept the fi- nance minister’s letter about the second livestock company.

 

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

Kuwaitis buy sweet traditional delicacies popular during Ramadan at a shop on the second day of the Holy Fasting Month in Kuwait City on May 28. (AFP)

KUWAIT CITY, May 28: Citizens and residents of Kuwait spent about KD 450 million for shopping in the last five days, reports Al-Anba daily. The decision for early payment of the salaries of public employees could be the reason behind this increased rate of spending among both Kuwaitis and residents for buying the commodities and foodstuffs required during the month of Ramadan.

Costs
Ministry of Commerce and Industry rejected several requests presented by some food-related companies to increase the costs of their commodities before the start of the month of Ramadan. The Union of Cooperative Societies earlier announced that the prices of 70 commodities have been reduced by 20 percent for a period of 30 days due to Ramadan. The rate of price hikes in April 2017 was 2.63 percent more than that of April 2016. Meanwhile, following the government’s decision to increase fuel prices and electricity and water costs, a study has revealed about the government’s tendency to increase the fees for some health services provided to expatriates, reports Al-Shahed daily.

Fees
According to the study, the government is seeking to increase the fees by 500 percent and a dozen times over for visitors such that the new fees will be KD 500 instead of the current KD 100. The study indicated that the value of health insurance will increase by 160 percent to KD 130, which is an increase of KD 80. It explained that most of the increases, which are scheduled to be applied during the coming phase, will be on expatriates, topped by the imposition of taxes on remittances, taxes for health insurance and increased residence fees among others. The study revealed that the increase in fees for health services provided to expatriates has reached its final stages, pending the start of implementation as soon as it is approved, adding that the government, through such price increases, is seeking revenues for reducing the budget deficit.

Source: Arab Times
Maj Gen Al-Jarrah

KUWAIT CITY, May 28: Security around the country has been tightened to get rid of the ‘begging for alms’ phenomenon since more and more people take to begging especially during the holy month of Ramadan.

The Assistant Undersecretary for Citizenship and Passport Affairs Major- General Lieutenant Sheikh Mazen Al-Jarrah has given clear instructions to deport entire families along with children if either the mother or father is caught begging.

If expatriates under company residence are caught begging, the senior Interior Ministry official said strict action will be taken against the company including closure of the company labor file.

Those caught begging while on visit visa, the sponsor will be punished and in the case of a company, the company’s labor file will be closed.

The source pointed out women police will take part in combating the menace of begging during Ramadan and plainclothes police will be deployed in several areas which are known for this phenomenon, including the commercial areas, mosques and major markets. Al-Jarrah pointed out the Interior Ministry has called upon citizens and expatriates to report any such incidents of beggary.

The source added the security authorities are now more experienced in fighting the menace of begging and will be concentrating on industrial areas such as Shuwaikh and Sulaibiya.

Source: Arab Times http://www.arabtimesonline.com/news/families-deported-mother-father-caught-begging-security-tightened-get-rid-begging-alms-phenomenon/

 

KUWAIT CITY, May 21: Ministry of Electricity and Water Undersecretary Muhammad Bo Shehri explained the new water and electricity charges for commercial and investment sectors which take effect Monday are aimed at rationalizing consumption of water and electricity, not to collect more money.

Bo Shehri assured the price hike does not match the actual cost of producing electricity and water. He affirmed that rationalization is better for the ministry than any price increase.

He explained a trader who used to pay KD 1,500 will pay KD 2,500 so he will be forced to reduce consumption, confirming this will be in his favor and the State as well. He expects that consumption will not decline on the first day of implementing the new charges as it will take about three or four months for consumers to realize the difference – once the bills reflecting the new charges are issued.

He clarified private houses are excluded from the new charges according to the law issued in 2016. He pointed out the ministry is studying some actions including the awareness campaigns to encourage those residing in private houses to follow the rationalization policies.

Meanwhile, sources from the ministry affirmed that it has found a solution to the problem of not putting water and electricity meters to zero level prior to implementation of the new charges.

Sources explained the consumption recorded before Monday will be calculated based on old charges, while the consumption recorded from Monday onwards will be calculated based on the new charges. Sources said this will prevent errors in charging consumers.

While confirming the continuation of procedures to separate meters in investment and commercial sectors, sources said the charge per kilowatt for these sectors will be five fils and the relevant survey has yet to be completed. Sources added the ministry is ready to implement the new charges in the two sectors, affirming it inspected the new automated system a couple of weeks ago.

Meanwhile, eight non-specialized local companies secured contracts as agents of foreign companies in oil industry projects worth KD 827.1 million after obtaining approval from relevant authorities such as the Central Tenders Committee (CTC), reports Al-Shahed daily.

By Muhammad Ghanem Al-Seyassah Staff Arab Times

KUWAIT CITY, May 21: The Public Relations Department of Kuwait Municipality affirmed the continuation of inspection campaigns by Capital Municipality’s emergency teams in Shuwaikh and Al-Rai areas simultaneously with the media campaign “Your Health is Trust”, reports Al-Seyassah daily. The department said the campaign is aimed at achieving the expected objectives of confiscating and destroying expired food items before they are displayed for sale.

It explained that 21 food warehouses were raided resulting in the discovery of 1.679 tons of expired foodstuffs, which were confiscated and destroyed by the municipality teams.

These items included 1,559kg of expired baby milk powder, as well as 120kg of sweets, chocolates and macaroni from a warehouse in Al- Rai area.

Meanwhile, teams from Municipal Services Follow-Up Department of Mubarak Al Kabeer Municipality executed a field inspection campaign on eateries, shops and cooperative societies where they discovered about 60kg of expired foodstuffs, which were then confiscated and destroyed by the teams. They also issued 35 citations against violations such as violation of health regulations, storage of food items in unhealthy conditions and general hygiene violations.

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