Memang memusingkan dan sangat tidak effektif berurusan administratif dengan pemerintahan Kuwait, kalau cuma diping-pong sudah biasa, nah sekarang muncul lagi peraturan expats harus ngurus surat bebas tagihan listrik dan air kalau nggak pingin dicekal di bandara. Baca saja 2 berita di Kuwait Times dibawah. Tetapi tetap saja ada hikmah yang bisa diambil, bisa meninggalkan kantor dengan tetap digaji penuh he he he. (by: Ardi )
Published Date: May 13, 2008
By Badrya Darwish
To improve human rights so we can rise to the minimum international standards, the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) has decided to ask all expatriates before exiting the country – whether on holiday or permanently – to obtain a certificate of clearance from the ministry. The certificate is only valid for one month. If the expat doesn’t have it, he will be returning from the airport the same day with his family, his luggage, etc.
This is beautiful. Instead of advancing and updating our systems in the different ministries, especially as the government spent millions on computers and e-government programs and training and etc – we are going backwards. Why can’t they update the way to check if people have paid their bills or not?
The MEW is also asking the Ministry of Interior to coordinate with it to implement the new regulation. Because the Interior is the ministry that controls the borders and exits and customs. MEW can’t enforce it alone. May I remind the minister of water and electricity that it’s not the expats who are failing to pay their bills. It’s us, the Kuwaitis, because we feel safe and nobody can touch us and we are above the law. We’re Kuwaitis. Can the Minister challenge me by producing the names of big families andbig companies who have paid their electricity bills for years and years?
Or he only has the courage to attack expats? Why can’t he organize his ministry like any other advanced country on earth. He has so many civil employees doing nothing. Sitting in their offices, drinking chai and chatting. Well, let them do something for a change. Open the stupid computer in front of them and start billing people. Do a proper billing system in Kuwait, for God’s sake. If you don’t know how to do it – and I’m sure you do – then ask experts from other countries. In modern systems, if people forget, they receive a reminder from the electric company. And then a second reminder and if you don’t pay in the third warning, they’ll cut your electricity. And arrange also for people to be able to pay. Have direct debit through their banks. Improve your billing system.
Then start screaming and put laws and regulations to ban people from travelling and putting them under the pain of queuing in front of the ministries to ask for this precious letter of clearance. What if people have to travel all of a sudden for business trips or emergency family leaves? How many more employees will you need to give letters of clearance? You have more than two million expats in Kuwait. How many offices will you have to open for all of them to obtain releases every time they travel? Especially in the summer period when it’s time for everybody to travel. And may I ask you: What about Kuwaitis? What are you planning for us? Also we cannot travel? Is this your scheme for enhancing the power system and electricity in Kuwait? Is this your scheme for the coming summer?
Expatriates decry new clearance legislation
Published Date: May 14, 2008
By Ben Garcia, Staff writer
KUWAIT: Abu Hussein a Jordanian national said he has not paid his electricity and water bills since the last two years. The reason? No one from the ministry comes to his residence to take the meter readings. Hence he does not receive any bills to pay. The likes of Abu Hussein are now being targeted through the issuance of a new legislation. All expatriates will now be barred from leaving the country, on vacation or otherwise, without settling their electricity and water bills first.
The Assistant Undersecretary at the Ministry of Electricity and Water Jassem Alingawi has reportedly coordinated with the Interior Ministry to mandate a law prohibiting expatriates from leaving the country without settling their electric and water accounts.
The legislation states that expatriates who have not cleared their bills will not be permitted to exit Kuwait either through Kuwait International Airport or border checkpoints. Their passage is guaranteed only after producing a clearance certificate from the ministry.
It’s unfair. We’ve been residing in Kuwait for the last 35 years and we used to receive a bill every three months. And if we didn’t pay the bill by the following month, they used to automatically disconnect the power supply. But now, we have not been receiving any bills for the last two years, and they are going to punish us for that. Why doesn’t the ministry do its job according to a schedule just like us? How do you expect me to pay any bill without knowing the meter reading, without receiving a bill? The new system is completely absurd and unacceptable,” Abu Hussein added.
Huda Al-Ajmi an officer at the ministry’s Salmiya branch confirmed the new legislation and advised consumers to pay their bills every three months at least – to avoid hassles. “It is always good to pay at the end of three months to ease the burden of outstanding bill payments. There are some people who settle their bills on a yearly basis. They have to change that attitude now to avoid hassles and problems at exit points,” she said. The new regulation, according to her, will be implemented soon and will affect both – citizens and expatriates. “No one will be allowed to leave the country unless they produce a clearance certificate from us,” she added.
Explaining the procedures involved in the payments, she described simple steps to be followed by those wishing to obtain clearance certificates from the department:
1. Consumers should obtain an application form through any of the ministry’s branches.
2. After obtaining the required application, the ministry will send an electrician to read the meters.
3. After the meters are read, consumers are advised to return to the ministry to settle their accounts.
We will direct consumers through the next steps to follow. Basically it’s just simple procedure in which we will issue a stamped paper after the accounts are settled,” she said. She also informed consumers of the payment of an additional KD 1 per month that will be included in the electricity bills. The payment is however credited to the municipality for garbage disposal. “Some people who pay on a yearly basis however express outrage at seeing the additional amount on the bills, she said. Strange, but theamount has been included in the electricity and water bills since 2004,” she added.