Nod to more in­cen­tives for spe­cial needs peo­ple

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE - By B Iz­zak

KUWAIT: The Na­tional As­sem­bly yes­ter­day ap­proved sev­eral amend­ments to the law gov­ern­ing peo­ple with spe­cial needs, grant­ing them more fi­nan­cial and other in­cen­tives. The new amend­ments stip­u­late grant­ing such peo­ple a monthly as­sis­tance of not less than KD 300 per month, ac­cord­ing to the de­gree of their dis­abil­ity, un­til the age of 21. Peo­ple who con­tinue their univer­sity stud­ies will enjoy the as­sis­tance un­til the age of 28. Dis­abled peo­ple who go for post­grad­u­ate stud­ies can con­tinue to re­ceive the as­sis­tance un­til the age of 45.

An­other amend­ment stip­u­lates to cut the ser­vice pe­riod for dis­abled peo­ple to be al­lowed to seek re­tire­ment to 15 years for males and just 10 years for fe­males. The pen­sion for re­tired dis­abled peo­ple can be as high as 100 per­cent of their last salary. Dur­ing the de­bate, MPs called for adopt­ing strin­gent mea­sures to ex­am­ine peo­ple for dis­abil­ity and to ap­ply penal­ties in the law against those who il­le­gally re­ceive ben­e­fits in­tended for dis­abled peo­ple.

A num­ber of MPs also called for rais­ing as­sis­tance to dis­abled peo­ple and to their rel­a­tives, es­pe­cially their moth­ers, to ac­count for the high cost of liv­ing.

In other busi­ness, MPs agreed to de­bate to­day a re­port on the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the $2.2 bil­lion penalty paid to petro­chem­i­cals gi­ant Dow Chem­i­cal af­ter Kuwait uni­lat­er­ally scrapped a multi­bil­lion-dol­lar joint ven­ture with the US firm. MPs had re­peat­edly claimed that Kuwait rushed the pay­ment of the fine or­dered by the In­ter­na­tional Cham­ber of Commerce, which acted as an ar­bi­tra­tor. The As­sem­bly panel probed all as­pects re­lated to the is­sue which be­gan in 2008, and sub­mit­ted its con­clu­sions to the As­sem­bly.

Dur­ing the de­bate yes­ter­day, Min­is­ter of So­cial Af­fairs and Labour Hind Al-Subaih said that the min­istry has ap­plied the law against those who raise funds il­le­gally. She said that Kuwaitis in­volved in such ac­tiv­i­ties are asked to pay a penalty, while ex­pa­tri­ates are handed to the in­te­rior min­istry to be de­ported im­me­di­ately. She said this year, Kuwait was praised by the US Congress and Depart­ment of Trea­sury, and the coun­try did not re­ceive any crit­i­cism for il­le­gal char­ity work.

The min­is­ter was re­spond­ing to re­marks made by MP Saleh Ashour, who said he did not get a clear an­swer about a ques­tion on ad­ver­tise­ments for un­li­censed fundrais­ing cam­paigns. He said that the in­te­rior min­is­ter re­ferred him to the so­cial af­fairs min­is­ter, who said that she has no­ti­fied the in­te­rior min­istry. Ashour said that Kuwait is a mem­ber of the in­ter­na­tional treaty to com­bat ter­ror­ism and should drain its sources of fund­ing, and ac­cord­ingly au­thor­i­ties should ap­ply the law cor­rectly.

The As­sem­bly also de­cided to as­sign its bureau to dis­cuss the sta­tus of 16 laws that have been passed by MPs but were not im­ple­mented by the gov­ern­ment. MPs de­manded that the is­sue should be de­bated in a spe­cial ses­sion. MPs also agreed to de­lay de­bat­ing rec­om­men­da­tions by the pub­lic funds pro­tec­tion com­mit­tee that the gov­ern­ment should stop sell­ing its stakes in prof­itable lo­cal com­pa­nies. The de­lay was re­quested by the gov­ern­ment be­cause of the ab­sence of Fi­nance Min­is­ter Anas Al-Saleh for per­sonal rea­sons.

— Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: Oil Min­is­ter Ali Al-Omair (left) speaks to Prime Min­is­ter HH Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah dur­ing a ses­sion at the Na­tional As­sem­bly yes­ter­day.

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