By B Izzak
KUWAIT: The National Assembly on Wednesday unanimously passed the second and final readings of two laws aimed at accelerating the process of building homes for Kuwaitis citizens by reducing the waiting period, which now reaches more than 15 years. The Assembly also passed key amendments to a law providing welfare to handicapped Kuwaitis by adding two new categories of non-Kuwaitis who are relatives of citizens.
In the session that ended late Tuesday, the Assembly passed in two readings an important law to bring the chamber of commerce and industry under the supervision of the ministry of commerce and industry. The chamber, which is controlled by the elite business community, has been functioning as an independent entity.
The Assembly passed the first reading of the two housing laws two weeks ago. The first law regulates power of attorney in real estate with the aim to free unsold houses held under power of attorney for long periods. The second law imposes annual fees on land allocated for housing purposes but held unused for long periods.
MPs said the main aim of the two laws is to bring down skyrocketing prices of land and homes to allow Kuwaitis to be able to build houses with the help of soft loans from the government. Head of the Assembly housing committee MP Fayez Al-Mutairi said the Assembly will continue passing new housing legislations with the aim of reducing the waiting period for citizens to own their homes. “We need to completely end waiting periods, which now reach over 15 years,” he said.
The law for handicapped welfare was first enacted in 2010 and head of the committee for the handicapped MP Saud Al-Asfour said the amendments aim at removing the negative aspects of the law. Rapporteur of the committee MP Hani Shams said two new categories have been added — Kuwaiti mothers taking care of their non-Kuwaiti children and citizens taking care of their non-Kuwaiti relatives like husbands, wives and up to second-degree relatives. Speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun then adjourned the Assembly until Dec 12.