The weekly Cabinet meeting, presided over by HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Mahmoud, yesterday approved a draft law on national service and referred it to the Advisory Council.
The draft law aims to enhance the defence of the homeland, and to keep the armed forces in constant readiness to maintain the security and stability of the country, relying on a regular force and a reserve force when required.
Under the provisions of the law, each Qatari male between 18 and 35 years of age is to perform national service.
The duration of active duty is to be three months for those who have graduated from an accredited college or institute in the State, where the duration of the study is not less than two years or equivalent, and to be four months for the following categories:
1. Those who did not enrol in schools, universities, colleges or intermediate or higher institutes and those who did not complete their study there.
2. Those who entered, but did not finish, high school after completing the age of 21.
3.Students who have been dismissed from college or higher or intermediate institute or its equivalent or did not graduate after reaching the prescribed age.
The active service includes a period of military training and a period of service in one of the armed forces units.
By a decision of the minister some of the recruits may be allowed to be distributed to other institutions subject to the above-mentioned Military Service Law.
The Cabinet then approved the draft decision of the Minister of Education and Higher Education, who is also the Secretary-General of the Supreme Education Council (SEC), to extend the deadline stipulated in Article 4 of Law No 7  of the year 2012 regarding education coupons for another year, starting on 18/10/2013, in order for some government bodies to continue giving their employees advantage for tuition fees of their children during this period until their status is adjusted.
A draft decision of the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs amending some provisions of Decision No 13 of the year 2005, on regulating labour inspection procedures was also approved.
As per the amendment, a labour inspector might enter at any time any of the worksites to inspect without prior notice, and the work master or his representative is to be notified upon arrival to his institution to carry out inspections unless that hinders the performance of his duties.
The Cabinet also approved a draft decision of the Environment Minister on adopting a national technical bylaw.
Under the terms of this draft decision, the national technical bylaw adopts requirements of energy cards and the minimum limits of the energy efficiency of air conditioners as Qatari binding technical bylaw.  
The draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for co-operation in the field of training between the Ministry of the Interior of Qatar and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police was also approved.
The Cabinet also approved the proposal of the General Authority for Civil Aviation for conducting talks in the field of air transport with Liberia.
The Cabinet was briefed on the International Yearbook on competitiveness for 2013 issued by the International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland.
The Cabinet praised the results Qatar has obtained including maintaining the 10th rank among 60 countries in 2012-2013, and the 7th rank among countries with less than 20 million of population in 2012 and the 6th rank among the countries of Europe, Middle East and Africa in 2013.
The Cabinet then reviewed the following items and took the appropriate decisions:
1. A draft Law on control of tobacco and its derivatives.
2. A letter of HE the Minister of Justice on the recommendations of the team in charge of studying the plan of joint action between the GCC members and  Jordan and Morocco.
3. The views of Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA) on the proposals of the appeals committee of QFMA contained in its report for the period July-December 2012.

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