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State financial support for national labor ‘increases’ Parliamentary budgets panel holds meet

KUWAIT CITY, June 21, (KUNA): State financial allotments for supporting national labor and social support have been increased in the 2014-2015 projected State budget, according to a leading MP on Saturday. MP Adnan Abdulsamad, the chairman of the parliamentary budgets and final accounts’ committee, said in a statement the commission members held a meeting today, examining projections in the fifth chapter of the budgets for ministries and government departments (2014-2015), namely miscellaneous spending and paidup transfers.

Projections in this section of the budget rose to some KD 10 billion from KD nine billion in the 2013-2014 budget, hiking by KD 773 million (8.3 percent), MP Abdulsamad said, explaining that the bulk of the hike was for supporting the national labor, from approximately KD 461 million to KD 554 million, increasing by KD 92 million due to inclusion of the graduates’ bonus, amounting to KD 90 million. Social care allotment increased from KD 201 million to KD 351 million, increasing by approximately KD 150 million, due to mounting number of the beneficiaries, resulting from issuance of the Decree Number 23 (2013), granting financial support for 55-year-old housewives. Moreover, specialized fund for students’ scholarships rose from KD 200 million to 261 million, hiking by some KD 61 million.

MP Abdulsamad added that the forecast financing for citizens’ treatment abroad increased from nearly KD 150 million to KD 241 million, hiking by KD 91 million due to the allocations for the patients and compatriots.

However, the commission advised that certain restrictions must be effected to ensure equality among citizens seeking treatment abroad. Elaborating, the head of the parliamentary committee added that projected subsidies for petroleum and gas products increased from KD 625 million to KD 751 million, with an increase of KD 126 million. Furthermore, the transfer’s allotments for the public authorities and institutions hiked from KD 4974.8 million to KD 5176 million, with an increase of 201.2 million due to the increase of the social security, KD 138.4 million, and increasing the allotted funds for the Housing Care Authority, KD 91.7 million.

The commission tackled allocations for conventions, projections of which dropped from KD 73 million in the 20130-2014 budget to KD 24 million in the 2014-2015 budget. It also advised the Ministry of Finance to set terms for these allotments. The ministry, the committee observed, continues to list huge funds for armament, despite invalidity of the relevant laws (since 2006), where in the 2014-2015 fiscal year KD 21 million were listed, with controversial considerations. Although allocations of the Ministry of Defense rose from KD 1167.9 million to KD 1302.2 million, with a hike of 11.5 percent, the ministry continues to shift funds from a section of the budget to another, in violation of the relevant governing rules.

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