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‘Decision on cut in subsidies soon’ MoE to deposit KD 400m in salaries: sources

KUWAIT CITY, May 16: The government is headed for advanced measures to economize and regulate the state’s budget spending, and to reduce subsidies. As regards cutting down subsidies on diesel, electricity and water in the coming months, sources said a decision is expected to be issued to that effect soon, and during the next two weeks, another decision will be made to reduce the overseas medical treatment allowance paid to each patient and two of his/her companions from KD 100 to KD 70 daily, as it was before 2013.

Sources explained that government will only allow one person to accompany a patient going for treatment abroad, and the decision will be enforced on all patients sent for overseas treatment through the Ministries of Health, Interior, Defense, and Oil.

Report indicated that studies conducted by the government showed the Ministry of Health spends about half a million dinars on overseas medical trips, which amounts to 10 percent of its budget and exceeding US$ 4 billion.

It noted the move to cut down expenses is in line with government’s new policy which aims at reducing its spending to maintain the state of luxury of its citizens to redirect the financial surplus in its revenue to proper use, instead of unnecessary wastage of funds.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Education will deposit the salaries for June, July and August months, estimated to be about KD 400 million, along with the salaries of month of May into the accounts of the teaching staff and administrators, informed sources say.

Despite the assurance of the Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Ahmad Al-Mulaifi that he has addressed the Civil Service Commission to pay the summer salaries for Bedoun teachers similar to their Kuwaiti and expatriate counterparts, sources stressed that the resignation of Al-Mulaifi has hampered the process.

They indicated that the summer salaries for Bedoun teachers will not be paid, as they work on commission basis. In the meantime, regarding the excellent performance bonuses, sources said the employees’ bonuses for the current and previous year have not yet been finalized until now, as the ministry is waiting for the response of the Civil Service Commission regarding the new conditions and merits for granting bonuses for excellent performance.

In the same context, the Fatwa and Legislation Department stressed that the bonuses for the employees of Ministry of Education must be granted based on the merits followed by various ministries without exception.

Sources explained that the excellent performance bonuses, as per the documents of Ministry of Education, is about KD 20 million out of which the ministry will allocate KD 10 million for its annual budget of one academic year, which means another KD 10 million must be allocated to cover all the employees deserving the bonus.

By: Marwa Al-Bahrawi and Abdulrahman Al-Shimmari Al-Seyassah Staff

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