My friends who missed first Bungee Jumping in february, for them Bungee Jumping is backkkk….
Location: Marina Crescent
Date: April 25 to April 28 2013
Time: 10AM to 6PM
… Cost: KD20
Just 30 mins befire happened Earthquake in Iran and some people felt in Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain, as well as some areas in Saudi Arabia near the Gulf Sea. People in Kuwait in higher floors felt much stronger than people on ground due to vibrations of building structure.
First Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Humoud Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has amended a traffic law related to expatriates applying for a driving license. The law will require expatriates to apply for a license under additional conditions, requiring them to possess “a legal residency of at least two years, a salary which exceeds KD 400 and the a university degree”. However, there are exceptions to the law. The law adds the above-mentioned conditions to others, which include being of legal age, physical well-being and a driving test.
The law, however, does highlight certain exceptions to some members of the expatriate community, including male or female spouses of Kuwaitis and their children, illegal residents (bedoons) who carry valid security cards, college students and wives of expatriates who already have a driving license. The exemption also covers certain professions including professional athletes, sports staff, drivers or representatives, those who ply their trade in any sports club, sports union or government sports body, technicians in oil-related bodies in the country and health, nursing and ambulance staff.
Professions that will receive exemptions to two of the three conditions – minimum legal residency and salary limits – include judges, public prosecution members, chief justices, legal experts, doctors, pharmacists, engineers and assistant engineers, accountants, teaching faculty members, teachers, social workers, scientists, translators, librarians, company directors, journalists, TV presenters, public mosque imams and pilots and marine captains and their assistants. The amendment to the law adds that licenses obtained by drivers or company representatives (mandoobs) will be annulled if such persons lose their residency or change their profession, and they can only apply for another license after a period of no less than two years.
The Kuwait Medical Association strongly condemned the Health Ministry’s decision to go forward with plans to give Kuwaitis priority in medical checkups during morning shifts while making it mandatory for foreigners to visit these facilities only in the afternoon shifts for medical tests.
Minister of Social Affairs and Labor stressed the ministry’s keenness to take care of expatriate laborers by issuing laws that would benefit them and protect their rights.
Via International Advisor
Some 30,000 expatriates who work in Kuwait’s public sector stand to lose their jobs after the country’s parliament approved legislation capping the percentage of foreigners allowed to do such work, according to Gulf media reports this morning.
The legal and legislative committee of the country’s National Assembly yesterday “approved a proposal calling to reduce the percentage of non-Kuwaitis in government jobs to 20% from [the current ceiling of] 28%”, according to a report this morning in the onlineKuwait Times, and other Gulf publications.
The proposal, which is aimed at creating more jobs for Kuwaitis, also calls on the Civil Service Commission “to find jobs for Kuwaitis within six months of applying, or alternatively pay[ing] them the salaries expected from the sought job”, the Kuwait Times report said.
The publication said some 386,000 people are employed by the Kuwaiti public sector, of whom 109,000, or 28%, are expatriates. Thus if the cap were to be enforced immediately, “at least 30,000 expatriates working in the government must be dismissed and replaced by Kuwaitis”, the report noted.
The new cap on expats working in Kuwait’s public sector is the latest in a series of proposed and in-force measures across the Gulf that are aimed at giving nationals living in the individual countries – who tend to be outnumbered by expats, as well as, often, less-highly skilled or experienced than their foreign counterparts – a break.
Yesterday’s vote came just a day after a group of eight Kuwaiti parliamentarians calling themselves the Independents called for subsidies for electricity, water and fuel be scrapped for expatriates only, but not for Kuwaiti nationals. If implemented, this move could increase expats’ electricity bills “twentyfold”, the Kuwait Times noted.
Official statistics show there are some 2.6 million expatriates living in Kuwait, compared with some 1.2 million Kuwaiti nationals. Its economy is dominated by oil exports, and politically it is a close ally of the US, the military bases of which it is host to.
Kuwaitis and expatriates will all be riled very soon by subsidy cuts, imposition of Value Added Tax (VAT) and income tax. MP Nasser Al-Merri has recently proposed scrapping of subsidy to all Kuwaitis and expats and advised the government to instead improve the services and provide subsidy to Kuwaitis only on basic necessities such as electricity, water and fuel.
Last week, the government admitted that it was studying a mechanism to reduce subsidizing products and services for expatriates before similarly trimming subsidies for citizens as the state was trying to better organize its spending and budget. Water, electricity and fuel in Kuwait are subsidized, apart from other products and services.
If taxes and subsidy cuts are imposed, the prices are likely to go up. VAT is a form of consumption tax which, from the perspective of the buyer, is a tax on the purchase price. A seller would look at it as a tax only on the value added to a product, material, or service from an accounting point of view at any stage of its manufacture or distribution.
The manufacturer remits to the government the difference between these two amounts, and retains the rest for themselves to offset the taxes they had previously paid on the inputs. “As far as I am concerned as an expat, I do not really care much if it finally comes to a point that the government needs our money to pay for its services and basic necessities. It is a norm in other countries also, so we are not strangers to that,” said an expat who spoke with this reporter but did not wish to let his name be disclosed. “There is no country in the world today that does not pay for its government. That is how countries pay for their infrastructure, public employees etc, but I wonder why Kuwait needs it since it has a lot of oil revenue surplus and occasionally gives out cash handouts or grants to their citizens. One wonders why it plans to impose such taxes,” another expat observed.
Many expatriates said they would be staying even if tax system was to be imposed. “I will stay if my salary is still okay, but if I find that I can earn the same amount of money back in my own country, then why should I stay? I came here because of Kuwait’s attraction as a tax-free country,” an expat said.
Along with the issue of generating income from expatriates is the possibility of imposing value added tax, probably by next year. The government has sought the assistance of World Bank on tax-related issues and mechanism for tax collection. Most of the governmental subsidy that foreigners in Kuwait benefit from pertains to electricity and water services in addition to gasoline.
According to a Kuwait Times report, the mechanism is based on finding new ways to change the pricing of services available to citizens and expatriates, thus enabling the government to charge the fees accordingly. They explained that the state plans to study “similar experiences followed by other Gulf states” and then apply them in Kuwait. The issue is currently being studied by government committees “that are also assigned to chalk out plans for reducing subsidies for Kuwaitis as a first step,” said the sources who did not provide a timetable as to by when a reduction in subsidies was expected to be approved. The state’s budget for the fiscal year 2012/2013 lists the total government subsidy for consumer services at KD 6.3 billion, KD 3.1 billion of which goes towards electricity and KD 1.1 billion towards fuel.