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FNC to discuss UN human rights report

Members of the Federal National Council prepare for a busy session discussing several draft laws and raise questions with government ministers.

ABU DHABI // Members of the Federal National Council are preparing for a busy session next Tuesday, at which they will discuss several draft laws and raise questions with government ministers. Dr Anwar Gargash, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, is to answer a question from Ahmed Shabib al Dhahiri, a member from Abu Dhabi, on the human rights report the UAE submitted to the UN in November.

In November, Dr Gargash said the Emirates "have done very well over the last 18 months at responding to the criticism on labour issues". He added: "We have done well but we still need to get better." The Government has made the electronic transfer of wages mandatory and increased the number of inspectors in the Ministry of Labour. In November, the police in Dubai said they had collected more than Dh52 million (US$14.1m) in unpaid labourers' wages from a number of companies and warned employers they could be blacklisted if they repeatedly failed to pay their staff.

Hamad al Madfa, a member from Sharjah, will ask Obaid Humaid al Tayer, the Minister of State for Financial Affairs, about the difference in salaries among employees of federal institutions. Ali Majed al Matroushi, of Ajman, is expecting an answer from Saqr Ghobash, the Minister of Labour, on the dismissal of Emirati employees from private institutions. The Ministry of Labour last month announced a policy under which it would be difficult for privately owned companies to fire Emiratis.

One draft law to be discussed by the council would change a 2006 law regarding the development and storage of chemical weapons. The Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme will be the focus of another proposal. Details of the drafts were not available. @Email:mhabboush@thenational.ae

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