KUWAIT CITY, Nov 18: Customs officers at the Shuwaikh Port have confiscated and destroyed the imitation goods — bags, glasses, cell phone chargers and electrical appliances — coming from China, reports Al-Rai daily. According to sources the confiscated merchandize carried names of world renowned brands. Earlier the General Administration Customs was sending the cargo back to the point of origin but recently a decision has been taken to destroy the counterfeit goods for the interest of consumers
KUWAIT CITY, Nov 16: Ministry of Commerce and Industry has decided to lift ban on the import of onions from Egypt as a step toward resolving crises incited by the skyrocketing prices of onion in less than 24 hours, reports Al-Rai daily.
Months ago, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry banned the import of Egyptian onion after it was found to contain remnants of insect repellent exceeding standard specifications. Sources said recent samples affirmed that onions imported from Egypt are safe and contain the acceptable rate of harmful substances. They said lifting the ban on Egyptian onion will help restore balance in the market, especially as its share in the Kuwaiti market is 40 percent.
They are expecting the onion to reach Kuwait within two days. It is noteworthy the Minister of Commerce and Industry formed an emergency team and gave instructions to find ways of ending the crisis. Meanwhile, Head of Foodstuff Traders and Manufacturers Association Abdullah Al-Be’aijan said 200 trucks carrying 600 tons of fruits and vegetables are put away due to delay in the results of laboratory testing by the Public Authority for Food and Nutrition. He added the samples exceed capacity of the laboratories and the natural traits of the goods have been changed due to the long wait, and making them unsafe for human consumption.
KUWAIT CITY, Nov 16: The General Traffic Department (GTD) has suspended implementation of the decision to impound vehicles if the driver and front seat passenger are not wearing seat belts or if the driver is using mobile phone by hand while driving in compliance with the directive of acting Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid Al-Jarah and Undersecretary Lieutenant General Mahmoud Al- Doussari, reports Al-Seyassah daily.
The officials issued the directive 24 hours after enforcing the decision which led to impounding of 1,000 cars. Citizens and MPs praised the decision of Al-Jarrah and Al- Doussari, pointing out the negative consequences of impounding vehicles for both the citizens and expatriates.
Several citizens and expatriates had to resort to car rental offices; thereby, bearing the excessive expenses and fines.
Citizens expressed their disappointment over the enthusiasm to impound cars for the above mentioned violations, while reckless drivers keep on having races on the roads but it seems the concerned authorities are not keen on tracking them down.
They said the authorities should impound the cars of reckless drivers, those who beat the red light and those driving beyond the speed limit for two months.
Meanwhile, security sources said the decision to impound cars for not wearing seat belts and using mobile phone by hand while driving was not effective — taking into consideration the negative social and financial consequences, in addition to the accumulation of fines due to the lock put on violators’ files so the GTD has been unable to collect fines estimated at millions of Kuwaiti dinars.
In a related development, a number of bloggers called to mind Lieutenant Abdulfattah Al-Ali who targeted reckless drivers as a way of addressing the traffic problem, up to the extent that some reckless drivers hid their cars inside their houses or even on the roof of their houses.
Also, taxi drivers took advantage of the situation as they waited in front of impounded vehicles centers to offer a ride to the owners of such vehicles at KD 10.
A citizen documented the damages that the impounding procedures caused to his luxury car. Another citizen said the traffic officers asked him to remove his things — heater and other items — from the car before impounding it, leaving him repeatedly saying, “Thanks to the Ministry of Interior.”
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim
Arab Times Staff
KUWAIT: The health insurance fees for expats will jump to KD 130 annually as new hospitals and clinics that will exclusively serve foreign residents are being built. The Health Assurance Hospitals Company (Dhaman) and Health Minister Dr Jamal Al-Harbi yesterday took part in a groundbreaking ceremony for such a hospital in Ahmadi governorate. Harbi told reporters the health insurance hospital is one of the main components of the healthcare system for expatriates, which is implemented and managed by Dhaman as a leading development model for public-private partnership within the government’s work program and development plan.
Dhaman CEO Dr Ahmed Al-Saleh said according to ministry decisions, health insurance for expats will cost KD 130 ($425) annually, covering primary and secondary healthcare. He noted that increasing the insurance fees from KD 50 to KD 130 came after thorough comparative studies of the systems followed in other GCC states and the development factors sought in Kuwait.
Harbi said over two million expats working for the private sector and that their families will benefit from the Dhaman health services in various governorates. Two additional hospitals will be built in Farwaniya and Jahra, in addition to 12 medical centers, which will reduce crowding at public hospitals and primary healthcare centers. Harbi added the Ahmadi hospital will open in 2020. It consists of four storeys and a basement spread over a total area of 36,793 sq m. The hospital has a capacity of 300 beds spread over various departments, including surgery and intensive care. It has more than 70 outpatient clinics of different medical specialties. “The health ministry looks forward to help Dhaman deliver these important hospital projects to serve and provide healthcare to residents of Kuwait,” Harbi said. The Health Assurance Hospitals Company (Dhaman) was established as a public-private partnership project as part of Kuwait’s national healthcare expansion plan. In response to a projected population growth of two million people by 2026, Dhaman plans to build secondary care hospitals and primary health clinics in various locations across Kuwait.
By Faten Omar and Agencies
Source: Kuwait Times
KUWAIT CITY, Nov 14, (KUNA): Ministry of Commerce and Industry inspectors have discovered fraud of 3.940 kgs of gold valued at KD 50,000 ($165,000) at a gold store in Al-Rai district. The case was later referred to prosecution.
The Ministry added in a statement Tuesday that the forged items were gold jewelry items of Indian precision. Cavities in the gold jewelry have been filled with cheap materials in order to increase their weight and sell them as pure gold.
The ministry will take all needed procedures against the forgers, who have already been referred to the competent authorities, the statement added. The ministry will increase inspection of gold and jewelry markets to verify validity and condition of scales and percentage of precious stones engraved with the items displayed for sale.
The Ministry is supervising all the precious metals and stones, whether those displayed at the stores or produced in factories locally or coming from abroad, it said. It will penalize counterfeiters to protect the consumers, the statement concluded.
‘Large number of expats in Kuwait at present’
KUWAIT CITY, Nov 13: A number of MPs have challenged the Interior Ministry’s idea of facilitating issuance of commercial and family visit visas for expatriates, and called for strict regulations to avoid demographic imbalance stimulation.
MP Al-Humaidi Al-Sebaie expressed outright rejection of opening the door for family visits, which he insisted, will have negative impact on the country’s demography. He is surprised the ministry is contemplating such measures amid the growing number of expatriates, noting the step contradicts the approach of Government and the National Assembly that seek to reduce the number of expatriates. He stressed he’s not against issuing visas to the expatriates only if they deserve it.
MP Khalid Al-Otaibi stated “this is not the right time to facilitate family visits due to the large number of expatriates in Kuwait at present”. He added the idea will only stimulate demographic imbalance and make it more difficult in finding a lasting solution to the problem. He asserted the Interior Ministry’s plan to facilitate family visits will encourage medical tourism, which is illogical. He wondered if Kuwait is among advanced like the US and countries in Europe where individuals embark on medical tourism.
For his own part, MP Abdullah Fahad praised the Ministry of Interior for amending foreigners’ residency law to facilitate family visits for different reasons, including education and medical treatment. He is proud that Kuwait became the destination of those seeking jobs, noting the new development will contribute in creating investment opportunities.
MP Dr Adel Al-Damkhi said it requires total cooperation among various official bodies to set a comprehensive plan in dealing with the demographic situation, while official decisions must be based on a unified strategy amid a clear plan that specifies the required number of expatriates in each profession.
By Munaif Nayef
Al-Seyassah / Arab Times Staff
KUWAIT CITY, Nov 12: Statistics issued by the General Traffic Department show the number of violations recorded from the beginning of the current year until the end of last October reached 2.437 million, reports Al-Jarida daily. The statistics show the violations include 970,000 direct violations and 1.467 million indirect recorded by the traffic monitoring cameras, which roughly works out to 8,333 violations per day. The statistics also show the money collected in the form of violations during this period was KD 50.107 million — the fruit of efforts exerted by the traffic sector, in cooperation with other security agencies, to control the traffic situation on public roads and enforcing the prestige of the law. The statistics revealed 147 expatriates were deported during this period for driving without license.
Sharp rise in crimes: On an average 60 various types of crimes — murder, murder attempts, armed robberies, fights, thefts, assaults, shooting and impersonation — have been committed in Kuwait on a daily basis for the first 10 months, which roughly works out to two-and-a-half crimes per hour, reports Al-Qabas daily. A security source said the statistics issued by the Center for Research, Studies and Statistics at the Ministry of Interior for the ten months ended October 2017, showed serious crimes violence and aggressive behavior have increased in the country. The source added to put an end to such crimes, security measures have to be tightened which means the Ministry of Interior has a big role to play in addition to other authorities. Also the concerned authorities have to study the motives for such crimes.