MP acts on debt

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 28: MP Yusuf Al-Zalzalah on Friday submitted a draft bill asking banks and investment companies to reschedule the payment of all consumer and personal loans — owed by citizens to banks — according to the Islamic Sharia.
According the bill, after waiving all interests and future returns that would result these loans, the lenders (banks and financial companies) must reschedule all the loans of the citizens procured before Dec 14, 2009 by deducting not more than 35 percent from their salaries monthly without interest. This is after the government has deposited money in the banks and financial institutions.
Meanwhile, parliamentary sources disclosed various parliamentary groups have told the government that the writing off of the interest on these loans will be one of the top priorities in the current legislative round and that the proposed bills submitted in this regard will be included in the parliament agenda after studying them in the Assembly’s Financial Committee.
Several lawmakers have presented bills asking the government to buy the citizens’ loans of about KD 6 billion as these involve about 300,000 citizens. They have also urged the government to waive the loan interest.
The sources added that the number of MPs who support the writing off the loan interest has reached 44, which is about 90 percent of the total lawmakers and this number is enough to pass the bill even if the government rejects it and returns it again to the parliament.
It can be recalled that last week the minister of finance came under a serious attack from the lawmakers when he stated that the government will not write off the loan interest because it had already set what is known as ‘defaulters fund’ to resolve that problem. The lawmakers, however, assert that the fund cannot resolve the loan problem and that it can be solved by writing off the loan interest and rescheduling the payments.
On another issue, the sources disclosed that majority number of lawmakers will vote against the decree of National Electoral Commission NEC and present a new bill in its place, adding the amendment of the decree will include the so-called bad conduct clause the commission used during elections to disqualify some parliamentary candidates without defining what bad conduct means.
 It is expected that most MPs who were disqualified by the commission and reinstated by the Administrative Court will vote against the decree and if the decree is waived, that will mean the end of everything that came out it which include the closing the court case that is currently challenging the membership of MPs Khalaf Dumaithir and Khalid Al-Shulaimi.

By: Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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