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Cabinet touts oil sector's retrenchment steps
March 29, 2016, 9:04 am

The Kuwaiti cabinet has appreciated positive corrective steps taken by the oil sector in order to cut spending in light of the current financial situation in the country.

The cabinet said during its routine meeting presided by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah that such moves are compatible with the current orientations aiming to reform the financial and economic condition, while keeping oil workers' basic rights and gains intact.

The retrenchment measures are applied to workers at all state agencies and bodies, the cabinet said, reiterating such efforts that reflect the aspired cooperation in order to overcome this critical stage and its challenges, and to attain the nation's higher interest.

In this context, the cabinet listened to a briefing by Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Acting Oil Minister Anas Al-Saleh on measures being taken within the framework of financial and economic reforms.

Such measures include a fresh clear-cut, transparent and fair mechanism for raising the charges of public property exploitation. The cabinet then reviewed the report of the Kuwait National Competitiveness Committee, which analyzed the competitive aspects of the Kuwaiti economy based on the findings of the Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016, issued by the World Economic Forum.

The report showed that Kuwait came 34th in the Global Competitiveness Index, which reflected good improvement compared to the situation over the past years.
The cabinet also approved two draft decrees bearing on two agreements between Kuwait and Kyrgyzstan on visa exemption for holders of diplomatic and special passports and bilateral economic and technical cooperation.

The cabinet further approved and referred to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah a draft bill on modifying electricity and water charges.
The bill that will later find its way to the National Assembly, aims to remedy the imbalances caused by the excessive demand and consumption rates.

By the same token, the ministers consented to a draft decree amending some provisions of Law 34/2000 on establishing private universities. Meanwhile, the cabinet congratulated chairman of the Kuwaiti Studies and Research Center Professor Abdullah Yusuf Al-Ghunaim for being awarded King Faisal International Prize in Islamic Studies, 2016.

At the onset of the meeting, the cabinet was briefed on letters received by His Highness the Amir from Yemen's President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud, Mauritania's President Mohammad Ould Abdelaziz and Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

The messages were related to relations between the State of Kuwait and these countries, and means of developing them in all domains. Ministers were apprised of a joint message received by His Highness the Amir from French President Francois Hollande, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and President of the Paris Climate Conference Segolene Royal, inviting Kuwait to endorse the agreement on the Conference to be held in New York next April.

The ministers were briefed on a letter received by His Highness the Amir from North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on cooperation between Kuwait and the organization.

Then First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah briefed the ministers on the results of recent visits to Kuwait by Mauritania's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Isselkou Ould Ahmed Izid Bih, Malaysia's Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and Mongolia's Foreign Minister Lundeg Purevsuren.

During the visits, they reviewed distinguished relations between Kuwait and these countries in all fields and means of promoting them, as well as the latest regional and international developments and issues of mutual interest.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled kept the ministers posted on Kuwait's current preparations for hosting Yemeni parties' dialogue to be held next April, in presence of UN representatives.

The cabinet expressed its hope that the meeting would lead to positive results aiming to stop the bloodshed in Yemen so as to help the country restore its role, stability and security.

Source: KUNA

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