Boosting efforts to curb smoking in closed public spaces in Qatar, the Cabinet yesterday took the necessary measures to issue a draft anti-tobacco law after examining the recommendations of the Advisory Council on the issue.
The bill, which stipulates stricter punishment for offenders, is being prepared to replace Law No 20 of 2002 as part of steps taken to update legislation and take extra measures to combat smoking, the official Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported.
Last month, the Advisory Council discussed a report of the Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee on the draft law on the control of tobacco and its derivatives and decided to submit its recommendations to the Cabinet.
According to earlier reports, the draft legislation bans smoking in closed public spaces and stipulates fines of up to QR3,000 – as against the existing penalty of a maximum QR500 - for smoking or using tobacco products and their derivatives in such areas. Besides, allowing others to smoke in these places is also punishable with a similar fine.
Court orders can also be issued to confiscate, destroy or re-export tobacco products and their derivatives seized for violating the law, irrespective of the quantity.
The draft law covers a number of other key issues pertaining to tobacco use in the country.
After the regular weekly Cabinet meeting chaired by HE the Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani at the Emiri Diwan yesterday, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid al-Mahmoud said the Cabinet also endorsed its draft decision on establishing a standing committee on fuel pricing for the domestic market.
The decision stipulates that the committee is to be chaired by a representative of the Ministry of Energy and Industry and include officials from the entities concerned as members. The objective of the committee is to execute the government’s plan to liberalise fuel prices in the domestic market.
In April, the ministry had announced that fuel prices in Qatar would fluctuate in response to changes in the global market with effect from May 1, as reported by Gulf Times. In this regard, the committee’s task is to review fuel prices (gasoline and diesel) every month and make recommendations on proposed prices for the local market accordingly.
Yesterday’s Cabinet session also endorsed a draft Emiri decision on the organisational structure of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
It agreed to the application of provisions of Law No 24 of 2002 on the retirement and pension of Qatari employees of some entities.
Further, the session endorsed a draft agreement between Qatar and Ukraine on motivating and protecting mutual investments, a draft air services agreement between the governments of Qatar and Montenegro and a draft air services agreement between the governments of Qatar and Kosovo.
The Cabinet reviewed and took necessary measures regarding the 17th report on the outcome of the work of the National Counter-Terrorism Committee between October 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016.
Finally, the Cabinet reviewed the 34th report on the work of the National Committee on Arms Embargo from January 1 to April 30.
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