Crackdown on ‘ration food’ thieves.

Subsidized foodstuffs seized in a warehouse during crackdown

The concerned Kuwaiti authorities have been cracking down on the smuggling and trafficking of subsidized commodities and the recent raids on random markets in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, Khaitan, and other areas resulted in the confiscation of large quantities of subsidized foodstuffs and referral of dozens of suspects to the Public Prosecution, reports Al-Qabas daily. Sources told the daily the issue of smuggling ration items abroad and trading in them has more than one dimension. It involves the illegal transfer of subsidized commodities from those who deserve them into the hands of traffickers, who profit at the expense of public money.

The daily added, the state has allocated these commodities to Kuwaiti families and other deserving groups identified by the concerned authorities. When the suspects are caught, they face imprisonment, a fine, and deportation if the suspect is an expatriate. The Supply Department at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has revealed that the total number of individuals benefiting from the cumulative ration until the first quarter of this year amounted to 2,240,000 people. These individuals are distributed into six eligible categories and hold 257,000 ration cards.

The figures, according to Al Qabas, estimated that subsidies for food commodities amounted to 52 million dinars in four months, in which last April witnessed an increase of 122% compared to the previous month in the value of basic materials, which even the Kuwaitis cannot take out of the country. Kuwait spent 160 million dinars in support of materials provided to citizens, whether food or construction materials, in the first four months of this year. In addition, the value of food support is estimated at 13 million dinars per month, as the basic materials in the supply occupy the highest percentage of the materials spent and exceeds 30% per month.

Moreover, the eligible beneficiaries of subsidized goods are as follows – Kuwaiti women married to non- Kuwaitis, Gulf nationals residing in Kuwait (workers in government agencies); domestic workers working with eligible Kuwaiti families, Gulf nationals related by blood or affinity to any of the eligible groups and non-Kuwaitis (bedoun) registered with the Central Agency for Resolving the Status Illegal Residents.

Source- Arab Times.

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