(MENAFN - Arab Times) The parliamentary Public Utilities Committee approved Sunday a draft bill on the establishment of the Public Authority for Telecommunications. The committee took the decision during its meeting with the government representative from the Ministry of Communications. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Committee Chairman MP Adel Al- Jarrallah confirmed approval of the bill; indicating the government and private institutions presented their proposals to the committee. He said all the proposals were discussed in the meeting Al-Jarallah disclosed five committee members approved the bill and the panel is now working on the final draft, which will be presented to the Parliament on March 4. He pointed out the bill, once approved, will greatly contribute to the development of the technological telecommunications sector in Kuwait and the involvement of the private sector in the implementation of such projects.
Meanwhile, acting Speaker of the Parliament Saudi Al-Hareeji commended the committee for approving the bill which will be included in the agenda of the legislature. He stressed this is one of the important bills in line with latest developments in communications technology and the information revolution. In another development, Al-Hareeji hopes the government will soon present alternatives to the proposals to increase the children allowance in order to include them in the agenda for the next legislative session. He urged the government to present alternatives in light of the high cost of living and to the satisfaction of the MPs to avoid bickering between the two authorities that may lead to a deadlock on the issue. He added the Parliament had earlier agreed to postpone discussion on the report about the children allowance to give the government enough time to present alternatives.
He said the government requested a grace period of one month and the Parliament cooperated with it in a bid to address the issue. Furthermore, MP Abdullah Al-Tamimi claimed there is an ongoing political auction on the stability of the country. He accused some MPs of using their positions for political gains at the expense of national stability. He lamented, "The stability of our country is merely an item for auction." He affirmed that he will stand against any person who seeks sectarian or factional gains on the account of Kuwait's interests.
Indicating the country has been facing one crisis after another for years, Al- Tamimi admitted he does not understand why some people want to create additional issues and cause disorder and fragmentation in the country; while describing these actions as "mind-blowing." He said the previous assemblies passed on their problems to the incumbent legislative authority. He warned the rumors on the competition for the speaker's seat have resurfaced and this may cause more disorder in the Assembly. He appealed to everyone to stop such nonsensical actions and focus on the interests of the country, particularly the need to maintain national stability.
In the meantime, MP Saleh Ashour reviewed the issues he raised during the tenure of former Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education Dr Nayef Hajraf. It can be recalled that the lawmaker submitted a grilling request based on these issues but the Parliament did not discuss the motion due to the resignation of the government. This has prompted Ashour to present some of the queries to the incumbent - Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education Ahmad Al-Mulaifi. He inquired about the work of the Strategic Projects Office established in 2013. He wants to know the objectives of the office, which of these objectives have been realized so far, who manages this office and what is its organizational structure. He also asked about the relationship of this office with the World Bank, the consultative offices which signed agreements with the ministry, and their experience. He demanded copies of the contracts, names of representatives of the ministry in signing the contracts and their achievements. He requested clarification on the nature of the contract between the ministry and Pricewaterhouse Coopers Company, a copy of the contract, duration, value, owner of the company and its representative in the ministry. He said if the representative is a former employee of the Ministry of Education, he needs information the specific area of work in the ministry, specialization and certificate.
He wants to know the number of non- Kuwaiti staff in the ministry, their fields of specialization, salaries and nature of their jobs. He asked if the assignment given to non-Kuwaitis in the ministry was done according to a clear study. If yes, he demanded for a copy of the study. He also mentioned that the salary cap for holders of doctorate degrees was approved on Dec 18, 2011 and an administrative officer with a doctorate degree was paid KD150 per month while a teacher wit the same degree got KD400. He wondered why there is discrimination between Kuwaiti employees with the same academic qualification, the basis for granting these amounts, and if it was done in accordance with the regulations of the Civil Service Commission (CSC). He also inquired about the committees and task force in the ministry, names of the chairpersons and members, their functions and accomplishments; as well as explanations on the bonuses granted to those assigned in these committees. If there are members from outside the ministry, he wants justifications. He then asked if there are permanent and temporary committees in the ministry, if the heads of these committees are undersecretaries committed to attending meetings, and the way of calculating their bonuses in case of absence in meetings. The lawmaker also demanded for the names of all assistant undersecretaries in the ministry, their duties, date of appointment to the ministry, years of experience, academic specialties and studies done in the educational field