SMEs and family matters top FNC’s agenda

The leader of a group on trial for plotting terrorist attacks in the country told the judge that most of the men on trial with him had no connection to his group.

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ABU DHABI // Promoting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and improving registration procedures for children of unclear paternity are among the issues that the FNC will discuss on Tuesday.

Hamad Al Rahoomi, FNC member for Dubai, on Sunday asked Sultan Al Mansouri, the Minister of Economy, about the ways to support the 300,000 SMEs in the country.

Mr Al Rahoomi said SMEs were the economic backbone of the UAE and they should be afforded the Government’s support.

“When we want to support local projects, how do we find out about them? How do we know where to find their websites or online brochures?” he said.

“This requires a change of policy,” Mr Al Rahoomi said, adding that the Government should promote a culture of supporting its small businesses.

He said the public profile of the SMEs should be expanded.

“I should be able to press a button to find companies [for] air conditioning, for example,” Mr Al Rahoomi said.

“If I have a need to buy things, I need to know where to go,” he said.

Local authorities and residents are willing to support SMEs, according to Mr Al Rahoomi, but the business profiles and contact details of SMEs have to be comprehensive and accessible online.

Fellow FNC member Marwan bin Ghalita asked Mariam Al Roumi, the Minister of Social Affairs, about children of unclear paternity.

Citing Federal Law (1) for 2012, Mr bin Ghalita said such children should be officially registered “as per the laws and systems of the state” in coordination with the Ministry of Interior.

“So what are the procedures that have been taken to make the registration in official documents easier?” he asked.

The minister is expected to respond in writing or in person in tomorrow’s FNC session.

The council will also discuss five draft laws.

One involves amending the 1987 Civil Decorations Law to include the “martyr’s medal”, following President Sheikh Khalifa’s decision to commemorate the sacrifices of martyrs by awarding the medal to their families.

The council will also discuss amendments to a 2007 law that established the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology, a 2009 law that established the National Railways Company, and a military medals law.

A draft law regarding medals and decorations for diplomats and “others who offered high services to the state” will also be discussed.

The law seeks to acknowledge the efforts of those who have contributed to developing the UAE’s foreign relations.