Unified rates to be announced by year’s end - Recruitment offices 'uncooperative' with studies

KUWAIT: This file photo shows Asian housemaids wait at an office for domestic workers at a commercial complex in Kuwait City. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has approved the average rates suggested by the foreign ministry for recruiting domestic helpers from a number of countries. This approval was made after the majority of domestic helper office owners had ignored cooperating with the foreign ministry on that matter. Only 10 percent of the offices cooperated with the ministry and a committee that includes representatives from the ministries of foreign affairs, commerce, interior, the manpower authority, Al-Durra Domestic Helpers Company and the domestic helpers offices union. The committee had studied obstacles standing in the way of Al-Durra company's operations and reported those obstacles to the commerce minister accordingly. The new recruitment fees will be declared before the end of the year to help fix the fees on local markets, after various recruitment offices were asked to provide the committee with their fares compared to the real cost. The committee has studied the real cost of hiring helpers from various countries and compared them to the fees collected by local offices, noticing that they were unjustifiably high.

Detained lawmakers

MP Shuaib Al-Mowaizri urged his colleagues to contact the International Parliamentary Union concerning the detained lawmakers over charges of breaking into the parliament. Mowaizri added that the speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem has obligations towards the imprisoned MPs. "Contacting the international parliament and filing a complaint is not so hard," he added.

Commenting on the formation of the new cabinet, Mowaizri urged the new government to change its old methods that had been characterized by 'cruelty and rejecting opposing opinions.' "The people want the rights they have been deprived of for years and not declaring the government's agenda reflects its disrespect to the constitution," he added. Commenting on MPs' intention to grill Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and Minister of State for Economic Affairs Hind Al-Sabeeh, Mowaizri said he awaits filing it in January.

Housing issue

Official sources at the Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAWH) denied abdicating a 5,000-square-meter land plot to help solve the housing issue and that 90 percent of the land received from Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) and the Municipal Council had already been offered for planning, design or execution. The sources explained that the last piece of land abdicated by KOC was in August and that it was used in South Sabah Al-Ahmad project to build over 25,000 housing units and for signing a contract with a South Korean company to use the land in South Saad Al-Abdullah. KOC refused to abdicate a land plot located west of Hadiya, claiming that it includes main supply pipelines and that it will be used in future plans for the company. All the lands received since 2014 had not matched regulations and conditions in terms of including some obstacles and impediments that were removed by the housing authority despite the lack of budget to do so.

Credit Bank

Minister of State for Housing Affairs and Minister of State for Services Affairs Jenan Bushehri yesterday visited Kuwait Credit Bank where she met the bank's deputy chairman Salah Al-Mudhaf and top bank officials. While touring the bank's departments, Bushehri reviewed the procedures used on obtaining social, real estate and portfolio loans as well as the benefits of linking it with other relevant government bodies to ensure steady flow of information and respond to applications within minutes. Bushehri also met with the bank's top officials who briefed her about the bank's future strategy and goals. Bushehri hailed the substantial shift achieved by the bank, namely using online transactions and applications.

By A Saleh