KUWAIT CITY, Nov 15: The National Assembly unanimously approved the bills included in the second and third reports of the Housing Affairs Committee in its supplementary session Wednesday. A total of 60 MPs and ministers approved the bills in their first reading. They then agreed to postpone voting on the bills in their second reading until the session scheduled for Nov 28, for the committee to add the comments of some MPs. These bills include the cancellation of real estate authorization/agency, which means the owner of a house authorizes a company or individual to sell and rent out the property without a time limit. In this manner, the initial owner no longer possesses the house and he cannot pass it to his heirs. The cancellation is aimed at combating the real estate mafia — traders who monopolize the real estate market, leading to a remarkable increase in rental fees.
Rapporteur of the committee MP Abdulaziz Al- Saqaabi confirmed that the committee will put the final touches on the bills to be ready for voting in the second reading on Nov 28. He explained that addressing the housing issue in a radical way requires the issuance of laws, which the committee is currently working on. He said it is wrong to attribute the problem to the lack of space. He pointed out that the available space is more than enough to meet the housing demands. He asserted it is more accurate to attribute the problem to the wrong procedures and actions of traders keen on increasing the value of the plots and real estate properties they own even if it is against the citizens’ interests. He disclosed that the other bills are on imposing fees on the owners of plots bigger than 1,000 square meters; indicating the current law stipulates fees for plots measuring more than 5,000 square meters. He said the fees will be gradual, meaning the fee increases depending on the size of plots.
Assembly Speaker Ahmed Al- Saadoun thanked the committee for its efforts, stressing this legislative achievement is the fruit of legislativeexecutive cooperation. Meanwhile, the Assembly approved the following incoming letters:
1. Letter of HH the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, thanking the MPs for greeting him on the third anniversary of his ascension to the throne;
2. Letter of HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al Sabah, thanking the MPs for greeting him on the third anniversary of his appointment;
3. Request of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for National Assembly and Cabinet Affairs Essa Al-Kandari to expedite discussion of the bill on Kuwait joining the treaty on establishing the Asian Bank for Infrastructure Investment;
4. Request of the Interior and Defense Affairs Committee chairman to refer the bill on electing members of the National Assembly and defining constituencies to the Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee;
5. Request of MP Hamad Al-Elyan for the Education, Culture and Guidance Affairs Committee to study the local and overseas scholarships, and the Ministry of Higher Education’s accreditation of universities, and then recommend solutions;
6. Request of the Budgets and Final Accounts Committee chairman to enable the State Audit Bureau (SAB) to play its monitoring role over Kuwait Industrial Bank;
7. Request of the Remote and New Residential Areas Development Committee chairman for his committee to study and follow up on infrastructure issues in these areas;
8. Request of the Values Enhancement and Combating Negative Phenomena Committee chairman for his committee to study the negative phenomena like the weakening family bond, drugs, bribery, cheating, cross gender and ‘wasta’ (influence);
9. Request of MP Mehalhal Al- Mudhaf for the Education, Culture and Guidance Affairs Committee to study the efficiency of private colleges and institutes, and ways to increase the number of slots for students;
10. Request of MP Muhammad Al-Mahan for the Education, Culture and Guidance Affairs Committee to study the suffering of students residing in remote areas in terms of attending school, and then recommend solutions;
11. Request of MPs Mubarak Al- Hajraf and Ahmed Lari for the Public Facilities Committee to study the roads, postal services development, monitoring electricity and water services, and developing the North Zone and Kuwaiti islands;
12. Request of MPs Osama Al- Shaheen and Hamad Al-Matar for all parliamentary committees, Secretariat General of the Assembly and Inter- Parliamentary Group to follow up the implementation of recommendations regarding the Palestinian issue and Israeli attacks on Gaza;
13. Request of the Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee chairman for his committee to hold a meeting with the concerned political groups and societies in order to discuss the bills about amending the National Assembly Law and constituencies at the Assembly Theater on Nov 21, 2023. 14.
Request of MP Hamad Al-Matar for the Education, Culture and Guidance Affairs Committee to study the fake academic certificates issue; 15. Request of MP Hamad Al-Matar for the Assembly to pass the report of SAB on Kuwait National Focal Point from the Budgets and Final Accounts Committee to the Environment, Food and Water Security Affairs Committee;
16. Request of the Parliamentary Priorities Committee to discuss the bills on increasing pension and real estate agencies before the reply to the Amiri speech;
17. Request of the Interior and Defense Affairs Committee to forward the bills on cybersecurity, hackers and utilizing the skills of Kuwaiti programmers to the Digital Empowerment and Artificial Intelligence Committee;
18. Request of the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee chairman to refer the bill on adding people with medium and severe disabilities to the categories exempted from the time condition for receiving pension to the Disabled Affairs Committee;
19. Request of MP Hamad Al-Matar for the Health, Social and Labor Affairs Committee to coordinate with the Ministry of Health and other concerned institutions regarding the establishment of a center for the treatment and rehabilitation of drug addiction;
20. Request of the Youth and Sports Affairs Committee to extend the deadline for the submission of its report on developing and providing safe courses on cycling sports for two months;
21. Request of the Public Funds Protection Committee chairman for his committee to investigate the Malaysian Sovereign fund issue;
22. Request of MP Abdullah Al- Anbai for the Health, Social and Labor Affairs Committee to conduct a study on Kuwait Health City;
23. Request of the Human Resources Committee chairman for his committee to discuss the increasing number of nomination letters submitted by public institutions and submit its report within three months;
24. Request of MP Abdulaziz Al- Saqaabi for the Budgets and Final Accounts Committee to discuss the legal bases and regulations for granting exorbitant allowances and bonus to some senior officials;
25. Request of the Values Enhancement and Combating Negative Phenomena Committee for the Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee to hand over a number of bills;
26. Request of several MPs for the Housing Affairs Committee to discuss sustainable solutions for the housing issue, and rationale behind the high wages of construction workers and prices of construction materials;
27. Request of the Environment, Food and Water Security Affairs Committee to assign the committee to conduct a study on the current environmental conditions in the country and projects of Kuwait Focal Point;
28. Request of MP Hamad Al-Matar for the Education, Culture and Guidance Affairs Committee to conduct a study on the deteriorating education, reasons behind the rising rate of cheating in exams and recommend solutions;
29. Request of the Youth and Sports Affairs Committee to assign it to contact the International Olympics Committee regarding the latter’s claims in its recent statement;
30. Request of MP Hamad Al-Matar for the Health, Social and Labor Affairs Committee to study the reasons behind the withdrawal of Gaustave Roussy Cancer Hospital from Kuwait;
31. Request of MP Hamad Al-Matar for the Environment, Food and Water Security Affairs Committee to discuss the expenses related to the participation of Kuwait at the EXPO 2020 in Dubai;
32. Request of MP Shuaib Shaaban for the Health, Social and Labor Affairs Committee to discuss the reasons for non-payment of the frontliners incentive to the Ministry of Health employees, considering the tremendous efforts they exerted during the COVID- 19 crisis;
33. Request of MP Hamad Al-Matar for the Environment, Food and Water Security Affairs Committee to study the causes of damages to trees, plants and green zones in residential areas and others.
By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh
Al-Seyassah/Arab Times Staff
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