Marzouq Al-Ghanem

KUWAIT: National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem said yesterday it is essential to adopt legislation aiming at supporting the private sector amid efforts to curb the novel coronavirus. Ghanem made the call during a parliamentary committee meeting attended by owners of small, medium and large enterprises to look into the fallout of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. He underlined that it is unacceptable to leave enterprise owners in the lurch under these extraordinary circumstances, saying that some action should be taken in order to mitigate relevant negative reflections. The speaker called on ministers and members of parliament to live up to their due responsibilities by doing something to ease out the losses of the private sector. He also emphasized that the workers of private companies should not be left out in the cold amid the fight against the global pandemic, voicing confidence that MPs are overwhelmingly interested in taking action to serve the interests of the private sector and its staff. The top lawmaker urged the government not to give in to pressure from anybody, but to take the right decision in this regard. Several ministers and MPs attended the parliamentary committee’s meeting on efforts to alleviate the aftershocks of the COVID-19.

Protecting enterprises

Meanwhile, Minister of Commerce and Industry Khaled Al-Roudhan yesterday emphasized necessity of enacting a package of legislations to tackle fallouts of the pandemic on the business sector in particular. The minister, addressing a session of the parliamentary financial committee, singled out the aspired “settlement protection law” that could protect small, medium and large enterprises and workers in the private sector. The meeting was sponsored by Speaker Ghanem and attended by entrepreneurs and private sector personnel, discussing repercussions of the novel coronavirus. Minister Roudhan noted his keenness on listening to proposals by the entrepreneurs for sake of stimulating the economy and resolving their problems.

No profit

In the meantime, the Kuwait Banking Association announced yesterday there would be no distribution of cash profits to banks’ shareholders for 2020. The association said in a statement that the decision was taken to enable the banking sector play the financial brokerage role, ensure liquidity flow and operations in various economic sectors until current extraordinary circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic cease to exist. The declaration was publicized on the heels of regular meetings that had been held with the Central Bank of Kuwait, following up on the sector condition in shadow of the pandemic and its fallouts. The announcement is in harmony with criterion of the Basel committee for overseeing banking sector, adopted by the CBK as part of the measures to cope with the coronavirus repercussions. Such an approach is intended to bolster rating of the sector and its credit status in tandem with identical measures adopted globally. — KUNA