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Notice Board

No cut again: RBI leaves repo rate unchanged at 5.15%

No cut again: RBI leaves repo rate unchanged at 5.15%

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) kept the repo rate unchanged at 5.15 per cent in its sixth bi-monthly statement of current fiscal year. The RBI decided to continue with an "accommodative" policy stance. Today's statement is the first after the presentation of Union Budget, in which the government outlined huge packages for farming and infrastructure, but only gave a small cut in personal taxes and provided no new incentives for the beleaguered financial and housing sectors.

Consumer inflation, or the rate of increase in consumer prices, worsened to 7.35 per cent in December - its highest level recorded in more than five years - primarily driven by food prices.

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PM Modi inaugurate 11th edition of DefExpo-2020 in Lucknow

PM Modi inaugurate 11th edition of DefExpo-2020 in Lucknow

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated the DefExpo, India's biennial military exhibition that seeks to showcase the potential of the country to become a global defence manufacturing hub.

DefExpo2020

Delegates from 70 countries and 172 foreign military manufacturers will attend the five-day mega exhibition. many  Indian defence firms will also showcase their products at the event.

The 11th edition of DefExpo promises to bring new technologies and solutions on a single platform for defence manufacturing firms from India and abroad.

The main theme of the Expo is 'India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub' and the focus will be on 'Digital Transformation of Defence'.Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and chief of armed forces were also present on the occasion.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised that govt is working earnestly to promote defence manufacturing in the private sector.

Addressing the gathering, he informed of a slew of measures which have been initiated to make it easier for the private industry to have a stake in defence manufacturing including the decision to open up DRDO patents free of cost to Indian pvt manufacturers.

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Kuwait authority says no China food ban

Kuwait authority says no China food ban

Kuwait’s Public Authority for Food and Nutrition said that the World Health Organization (WHO) has not issued any recommendations for nations to ban the import of foods from China, neither has any country done so.

Based on scientific evidence from global organizations such as WHO and other food safety bodies, food has not been identified as a likely source of transmission of the novel coronavirus, deputy director Reem Al-Felaij said.

The Kuwaiti body said it is closely monitoring food safety reports issued by the International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN), a body jointly established by WHO and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization.

- KUNA

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The percentage of Kuwaitis staff in KOC has risen to 90 percent

The percentage of Kuwaitis staff in KOC has risen to 90 percent

Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) announced recruiting around 662 new Kuwaiti graduates to bring the total number of its Kuwaiti employees to 9,560. According to official statements, the percentage of Kuwaitis in KOC has risen to 90 percent. The company also managed to Kuwaitize 3,700 jobs in subcontracts to take the total percentage of citizens working through these contracts to 26.58 percent.

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Kuwait National Assembly rejects US Middle East peace plan – ‘A Failed plan’

Kuwait National Assembly rejects US Middle East peace plan – ‘A Failed plan’

The National Assembly yesterday strongly condemned US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan, calling on the government to continue to reject it while urging all Arab and Islamic nations to also unanimously reject the so-called “Deal of the Century” because it undermines the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

Lawmakers called for exerting all efforts to oppose and halt the process of normalizing Arab ties with Israel, saying all Israeli practices are in violation of international law. A communique issued by the Assembly stressed the plan stipulates major concessions from the rights of Palestinians. The statement called for unified Arab and Islamic popular and official stands to support the Palestinian people and their just cause.

National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem called for official Arab, Islamic and international rejection of this “failed plan” and to show full support for the Palestinian people’s steadfastness on their lands. He urged popular and national Arab and Islamic efforts to highlight the systematic crimes committed by the occupying authorities against the Palestinian people.

- K.T.

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Expat shepherds, farmers, illegals working at vital projects held in dawn raids

Expat shepherds, farmers, illegals working at vital projects held in dawn raids

The Tripartite Commission, including members from the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) conducted a surprise inspection campaign to catch violators of residence and labor laws and discovered some of them are not only violators but unqualified and incompetent, working on vital projects, including the new airport project, reports Al-Rai daily.

The commission discovered a number of violations during the campaign which started at dawn yesterday morning at the Kuwait International Airport project, and arrested a number residence law violators working for companies subcontracted with the airport project. Prior to the campaign, which lasted for five hours all roads leading to the project were closed while officials checked the identities of the employees.

Al-Rai accompanied the Tripartite Commission team, which was closely monitored by the Deputy Director-General of the Protection Sector, Dr Mubarak Al-Azmi, under the supervision of the Chairman of the Joint Committee, Mohammed Al-Dhafiri. The campaign discovered scores of violators of laws worked on vital projects, many of them seen working on the runway and control tower projects of the Kuwait International Airport project.

It became clear that many of the violators are sponsored by cooperative societies, some as shepherds and others as barbers – a majority holding Article 20 residence permit. This is a blatant violation of the labor law. Al-Dhafiri said said the campaign resulted in the seizure of 8 Article 20 workers (domestic servants) 80 holding Article 18 visa (but working for others and not their sponsors) 2 farmers and 2 shepherds.

--- A.T.

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Dr. R. Seetharaman at The International Conference on Islamic Finance

BUILDING GREEN ECONOMIES ARE IMPACTFUL, SUSTAINABLE AND RESPONSIVE

IFL 

Indians in Kuwait

The International conference on Islamic finance focusing on   “Circular economy: Towards impactful, Sustainable and responsive financial strategies” was held at College of Islamic Studies - Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Education City, Qatar Foundation on 5th February , 2020. Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank gave the keynote address at the event.

Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on Global economy. He said “Global growth is projected to rise to 3.3 percent in 2020. Advanced economies expected to grow by 1.6 percent into 2020.  The emerging market and developing economy group, growth is expected to grow by 3.7 percent in 2019, increase to 4.4 percent in 2020. Growth in the Middle East and Central Asia region is expected at 2.8 percent in 2020”

Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on major carbon emitters across the globe and role of Green Banking. He said “The top four emitters in were China, the US, the European Union and India. Greenhouse gas emissions need to be estimated for major economic sectors in areas of operation to determine the carbon footprint. Based on the carbon footprint in various economic sectors, various initiatives should be proposed to promote green economies, such as lending for green projects, CDM scheme, and paperless banking.The Banking environment operates within the global standards of lending or investing and such standards have been revised after the Global financial crisis both in terms of liquidity and capital adequacy. The going –concern and gone concern capital has been redefined and suitable buffers have also been developed taking into consideration the liquidity and systematic issues.  However in addition to above Banks as socially responsible citizens have a role to play on protecting environment and contribute to sustainable development. There are various green banking initiatives brought at the global forum which includes equator principles, UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI), UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Finance Initiative Statements and UN Global Compact (UNGC). Equator Principles define the set of voluntary standards that commit signatory banks to take social and environmental risks into account when providing project finance. “

Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted the role of Islamic finance in Sustainable development. He said “Islamic finance has the potential to play a crucial role in supporting the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the face of significant financing needs for the SDGs, Islamic finance has untapped potential as a substantial and non-traditional source of financing for the SDGs. Innovations in the use of Islamic financial instruments can go a long way in supporting the SDGs. Green sukuk is one such instrument, paving the way towards more climate-friendly investments. “

Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on SDG developments in Qatar. He said “His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani in his address to the United Nations in September 2019 promised to work for the climate and the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar will work on encouraging and promoting the green investment activity and adopt low-carbon economic growth. This will help in achieving climate objectives of Paris Agreement, support sustainable development objectives and investments in the sustainable natural resources. Qatar has put many integrated plans and objectives for sustainable development and is working in the clean and renewable energy with plans to generate 200 megawatts of solar power during the next two years and that will be increased to 500 megawatts. World Cup 2022, which have become global icons, as well as working on making this championship environment-friendly. It will be the first ‘Carbon Neutral’ championship by using solar power in stadiums and using energy and water-saving, cooling and lighting technology. Qatar Stock Exchange (“QSE”) is introducing this ESG Guidance to assist listed companies wishing to incorporate ESG reporting into their existing reporting processes. “

 

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4 officials authorized to grant travel permits to non- Kuwaiti employees at Kuwait Municipality

 

 

State Minister for Municipal Affairs Eng Waleed Khalifa Al-Jassem recently issued a circular specifying four officials authorized to grant travel permits to non- Kuwaiti employees at Kuwait Municipality.The minister has also instructed officials assigned in the Municipality’s administrative units not to grant travel permits to non- Kuwaiti employees under special contracts, as this is under the jurisdiction of the concerned authorities in the Municipality.According to the circular, the four officials authorized to grant travel permits to non-Kuwaiti employees are as follows: Secretary General of the Municipal Council Bader Al-Rifaei, Deputy Gen-eral Manager of the Financial and Administrative Affairs Sector Fouad Al-Raghaib, Personnel Affairs Department Director Osama Al-Omairi and Fun-ctional Affairs Supe-rvisor Badr Al-Sarraf.-A.T.

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‘Made in Qatar Expo 2020’to be held in Kuwait on February 19-22, 2020 at Kuwait International Fairgrounds

Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and Qatar Chamber yesterday announced coordination to organize the ‘Made in Qatar Expo 2020’ due to be held in Kuwait in the period of February 19-22, 2020 at Kuwait International Fairgrounds (KIFG) in Mishref with participation of 220 Qatari industrial companies.This announcement was made during a press conference held yesterday at KCCI, in presence of KCCI General Manager Rabah Abdul Rahman Al-Rabah, Qatar Chamber’s General Manager Saleh Bin Hamad Al-Sharqi, KIFG Sales Executive Manager Basema Al-Dehaim and media figures.

Speaking on the occasion, Rabbah hailed the outstanding relations between both countries and the partnership between both chambers to achieve the success of the expo. Rabah added that a large number of Kuwaiti and Qatari businessmen would attend the forum that takes place as part of the expo to discuss boosting commercial cooperation and relations.

Meanwhile, Sharqi said that selecting Kuwait as the third station for the ‘Made in Qatar Expo’ came to coronate the historic brotherly relations between both countries as well as the profound relations between the private sectors in both states.Sharqi expressed hopes that the expo, due to be organized by Qatar Chamber in cooperation with Qatar’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Qatar Development Bank (QDB), and in coordination with the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry, would be a good opportunity to acquaint Kuwaiti businessmen with the most significant Qatari industries. The event also offers a chance for Qatari exhibitors to meet with their Kuwaiti peers and discuss possible partnerships, he added.-K.T.

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A strange case of car buying

 

 

A strange case has been referred to the concerned authority to find a solution to the issue. According to security authorities an unidentified Kuwaiti walked into the police station and said he sold the car to a compatriot for 41,800 dinars and the latter paid 3,000 advance and gave assurances that the rest of the money will be paid after the transfer of the car in his name.However, after the transfer was completed the buyer told the seller to accompany him to the bank to complete the deal, however, on his way he told the man that he does not have the money to pay him but legally since the car is in his name, it belongs to him. The issue is being referred to the prosecution.-A.T.

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No need of verification of driving licenses from home countries for expatriate drivers

 

 

Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic and Operations Affairs at the Ministry of Interior Major General Jamaal Al Sayegh issued a decision on the verification of driving licenses that expatriate drivers and representatives of companies obtained from their countries or any other country, indicating these expatriates shall not request for details certificate for such licenses from their respective embassies and these documents will not be attested by the Foreign Affairs Ministry.The decision was taken after noticing the long procedures for granting licenses to drivers and representatives of companies.-A.T.

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Traffic crackdown from Jan 26 to Jan 31--33,800 traffic citations issued, 53 arrested

 

 

Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior for Operations and Traffic Affairs, Major General Jamal Al-Sayegh said traffic campaigns which are aimed at ensuring motorists respect the traffic laws and regulations and reduce traffic accidents were carried out from Jan 26 to Jan 31, during which 33,800 traffic citations were issued, 53 motorists were arrested and 41 vehicles were impounded and taken to the ministry garage.In Farwaniya, 5,300 citations were issued, 13 violators were arrested and two vehicles were impounded in addition to the arrest of 3 persons wanted by law, while in Ahmadi the traffic police issued 3,417 citations and impounded 6 vehicles and arrested 16 motorists. In Jahra, the traffic officers issued 4,462 citations while in the Mubarak Al-Kabeer Governorate 1,821 citations were issued, three motorists were arrested.-A.T.

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Kuwait asked 7 countries to receive their citizens who are in Kuwait prison

 

 

The Ministry of Interior in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has contacted the concerned authorities in seven countries to receive their citizens who are serving prison terms and have served much of their time so that the rest of the sentence can be completed in their home countries.The seven countries are Iran, Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. Iraq is said to have responded to the Kuwaiti request and has already received 13 prisoners and Iran 130 prisoners in 3 batches over the last few days in the framework of bilateral prisoner exchange agreement signed between the two countries. However, the sources said those serving time in state security cases not covered by the extradition pact.

The two reasons for the extradition of prisoners – one these countries top the numbers of prisoners and two this step comes within the framework prominent Kuwaiti role in humanitarian work. Some of the countries do not wish to receive their prisoners even though their numbers are big in the Central Prison.The move will reduce, to a large extent the number of prisoners in the country and give breathing space to those who are serving time. There are specific conditions that must be agreed upon in the process of handing over prisoners, the most prominent of which is the agreement from the prisoner to complete the remainder of his sentence in his home country, in addition to the approval of his country to receive him/her.Most of the prisoners who were deported were those who committed minor crimes, or had reached advanced ages, and had become a burden on the country in terms of the cost of imprisonment and the provision of health care. The sources praised the move, which is in public interest, and helps reduce the number of prisoners inside the Central Prison which has exceeded its capacity.-A.T.

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Kuwait takes over the management of joint abundance operations

 

 

The acting CEO of the Kuwaiti Gulf Oil Company, Abdullah Al-Sumaiti, issued a decision appointing Hamad Salem Al-Ajmi as general manager of joint operations in the Wafra area.The change comes after the end of the presidency of Chevron Saudi Arabia for joint abundance operations on January 31, 2020, knowing that the appointment started from yesterday, Sunday.

Kuwait and Saudi Arabia started preparations to resume crude oil production from the Khafji field with experimental production near the end of February.An oil official in Kuwait told Reuters that he will start producing about 10 thousand barrels of Khafji field on February 25, adding that it is "sufficient quantity to test all the installations and their operational efficiency."The official said that the field will pump about 60 thousand barrels by next August.

The official added that he will start production from the Wafra field by 10 thousand barrels per day in late March, and it is expected that production will exceed 80 thousand barrels per day from the field after six months of the start of experimental production.He added that it is expected that production from the Khafji field will reach 175 thousand barrels per day and from the Wafra field to 145 thousand after a year has passed since the start of experimental production.

The Khafji field is operated by the Khafji Joint Operations Company, which is a joint venture between Kuwait Gulf Oil Company and Aramco Gulf Operations Company, a subsidiary of the giant Saudi oil company Aramco, and the company was producing between 280 and 300 thousand barrels per day of heavy Arab crude before the field was closed for environmental reasons in 2014.Production will increase gradually and that any increase from the region will be compensated by a reduction from other fields.-Al Anba

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Ban on deploying Indonesian domestic workers to the Middle East remains in effect

 

 

Ambassador of Indonesia to Kuwait Tri Tharyat said the ban on deploying domestic workers to the Middle East – a governmental decision issued in 2009 – remains in effect to guarantee their safety, affirming the Indonesians are given opportunities in their country.Tharyat pointed out that most of the Indonesian domestic workers in the GCC now are women and they were employed prior to the ban. He stressed there is no amendment in this regard and it was not discussed with the Kuwaiti side.

On the other hand, sources clarified Indonesia agreed only to send technical and trained workers for companies, not for individuals.The Indonesians sent recently to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are under a major cleaning company which, in turn, assigns them to work in houses but they are not residing in these houses. Sources added a Kuwaiti company on Tuesday signed an agreement to recruit 300 Indonesians to work in its health institutes (spas).-A.T.

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MoI hotline WhatsApp number receives an average of 121 messages daily

 

 

Last month, the interior ministry launched a WhatsApp number for the public for quick and easy communication with the ministry regarding various issues. The WhatsApp hotline 99324092 was published on the website of the ministry and on other social media apps. The hotline operates 24/7 to receive complaints, suggestions, reports or queries for the Traffic Department. This service is also available in English for non-Arabic speakers.

The hotline receives an average of 121 messages daily, but this number is increasing with time, as more people are using it every day. Currently, 10 administrative employees are handling this line, in addition to a large number of responders in all the governorates to deal with the reports.

The number is connected to various sectors of the interior ministry and other ministries and institutions. It deals with the Ministry of Public Works, Public Authority for Roads and Transportation, Kuwait Municipality and others.Different sectors of the interior ministry all have accounts on various social media under the General Directorate for Security Relations and Media. An expat sent a traffic violation to this number with the photo of the violation attached to this number on Saturday. Although it was the weekend, he received a response within 10 minutes. The information center required the address, and informed him that the report will be transferred to the Traffic Department and it will take the necessary action.-K.T.

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MoH issued a decision to introduce 54 new medicines

 

 

The Minister of Health Sheikh Dr. Basil Al-Sabah issued a decision to introduce 54 new medicines to the Ministry in various medical specialties. This comes as a concern of the Minister of Health, Sheikh Dr. Basil Al-Sabah, that Kuwait is one of the leading and first countries in the region in providing medicines for patients.This came after the meeting of the Medicines Pricing Committee at the Ministry of Health, which in turn approved the introduction of these drugs. It is worth noting that Article 8 of Law 28 of 96 prohibits the commercial import of any medication unless it is registered with the Ministry of Health in accordance with the conditions and controls determined by the executive regulations of this law. It is also prohibited to import medicines other than the Ministry of Health and those licensed by agents of drug producing companies, warehouses and drug factories .

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Toilet studded with diamonds displayed in Dubai in the "The Amazing Museum & Art Gallery"

 

 

One of the companies specialized in the manufacture of diamond jewelry revealed a toilet studded with diamonds, at one of the art galleries in Dubai.The toilet displayed in the "The Amazing Museum & Art Gallery" is studded with 40,815 diamonds, totaling 334 carats, valued at $ 1.28 million.The toilet bowl with diamonds was certified authentic by the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest number of diamonds on a toilet bowl.The diamond toilet was first unveiled at the "Shanghai Import Expo", in China, in 2019.It will stay in the "The Amazing Museum & Art Gallery" for a temporary period, and after that, it will move to all parts of the world like other Guinness World Records products achieved by "Coronet".

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The car registration book will contain a magnetic chip with complete information

 

 

Starting Sunday, Feb 2, 2020 the car registration book will contain information of the owner of the vehicle in both English and Arabic to avoid the problems faced by vehicle owners who travel with their cars to foreign countries.The car registration book will now not be ‘a piece paper’ but will have a magnetic chip with complete information, easy to carry in the wallet and not prone to damage. The new-look registration book is the idea of Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs Major- General Jamal Al Sayegh to keep pace with technological development, so that the traffic sector in its various departments operates according to technologically advanced systems.In the context, the Ministry of Interior has issued an administrative circular to the general traffic sectors and service centers to inform citizens and residents after receiving the vehicle management licenses after Feb 2, not to remove the white bottom part of the car registration book.-A.T.

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Gang of four arrested for tampering with blood test samples

 

 

In cooperation with the Ministry of Health, personnel from the Residence Investigation Department seized a four-man gang for tampering with blood test samples.The issue became the focus of much attention for Minister of Interior, Anas Al-Saleh and Health Minsiter Sheikh Dr Bassel Al-Sabah, given the seriousness of the issue to the health of citizens and residents, and for fear of the spread of diseases and epidemics.

Personnel from Residence Investigation Department led by Colonel Sheikh Abdullah received a report from special sources that the gang members were involved in tampering with results of blood test samples to help expatriates who were found to be medically ‘UNFIT’.The Department informed Minister Al-Saleh who in turn informed Sheikh Dr Bassel Al-Sabah, who then asked those concerned in the Ministry of Health to cooperate with the Interior men until the suspects were caught.The residence investigation officers contacted one of the suspects and sent him a secret source and the latter agreed to change the test result of a person for money, he was put under surveillance and caught in the act.-A.T.

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