KuwaitOther News

Panel increases annual leave to 35 days in private sector

Two MPs to grill commerce minister – Activist’s citizenship returned

KUWAIT: The National Assembly’s health and social affairs committee yesterday agreed to increase annual leave in the private sector to 35 days from 30 currently as part of a number of amendments to the labor law, a lawmaker said. MP Osama Al-Shaheen said the amendment applies to both Kuwaitis and expatriates employed in the private sector. Annual leave was raised to 30 days – not including Fridays – several years ago, when the labor law underwent major changes.

Shaheen also said the committee approved a draft law regulating charity in the country. The bill stipulates tougher penalties for those who raise charity funds without a valid license and also raises penalties against those who disparage charitable work. The lawmaker said MPs intend to request that the Assembly gives priority to debate two legislations in today’s regular session.

The first requires foreigners visiting Kuwait to have a medical insurance for the period of their stay in the country. The bill also states that the interior ministry will not issue a visit visa for foreigners without the medical insurance. It aims at preventing foreigners from coming to the country for medical treatment. The second bill deals with the call to establish a food authority, the lawmaker said.

Opposition MPs Mubarak Al-Hajraf and Al-Humaidi Al-Subaei yesterday decided to file a joint grilling against Commerce and Industry Minister Khaled Al-Roudhan over alleged violations. The two lawmakers signed the grilling request and went to the speaker’s office to file it, but couldn’t do so before the end of the day’s working hours, as the speaker was at a meeting with HH the Amir. As a result, they decided to file the grilling today so as it can be debated two weeks later. Several MPs had warned Roudhan over alleged violations and had threatened to file to grill him. He has denied any such violations.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet yesterday decided to return the citizenship of Saad Al-Ajmi, which was revoked about four years ago when the government revoked the citizenship of several opposition activists. The government has so far returned the citizenship of several of these people but others have not yet been returned.

In the meantime, opposition MP Riyadh Al-Adasani yesterday reiterated his threat that he would use all available constitutional tools against the government if authorities do not refer a suspected bribery and money laundering case involving MPs and businessmen to the public prosecution. Adasani said in a statement that he will continue to pursue this issue, which involves using millions of dinars to inflate the bank accounts of some MPs and businessmen. He said he will use constitutional tools – a reference to grilling – if the government fails to take proper action or takes a long time to do so.

By B Izzak

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