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Wednesday , September 30 2020

11 MPs sign statement expressing objection to economic procedures

Govt should be within monitoring scope of the Assembly

KUWAIT CITY, April 5: Eleven MPs signed a statement, expressing objection to the economic procedures included in the document issued by the Cabinet recently due to the vague compensation and banking facilities.

Once again, they praised the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah; as well as the efforts exerted by relevant institutions, volunteers, farmers and charities.

They affirmed that they have given the government an opportunity to deal with the coronavirus crisis in its capacity as the executive authority. However, they emphasized that every decision taken by the government should be within the monitoring scope of the National Assembly; stressing any file can be opened at the right time.

They said they are aware of some individuals’ attempt to mix the papers and take advantage of the crisis in order to obtain illegal gains through the economic package without taking into consideration the interests of citizens.

MPs Muhammad Haif Al-Mutairi, Muhammad Al- Dallal, Adel Al-Damkhi, Abdulwahab Al-Babtain, Naif Al-Merdas, Thamer Al- Suwait, Khalid Al-Otaibi, Abdullah Fehad, Osama Al- Shaheen, Al-Humaidi Al- Subai’e and Hamad Barrak Al-Mutair signed the statement.

In another development, a number of MPs objected to the public loan bill allowing the government to obtain KD 20 billion loan; which the government intends to submit to the Assembly for ratification.

MP Abdulkareem Al-Kandari pointed out this amount is equal to the country’s oil revenues for two years. He said the bill does not answer important questions such as the way of spending the loaned amount, how to manage the loan and mode of payment.

He added the government floated securities in 2017; but until now, none of these securities has been repaid. This makes him suspicious about the capability of the government to manage the loan, especially after the losses of investments in many public institutions like the Public Institution for Social Security, Kuwait Ports Authority and others.

He disclosed the bill was first submitted to the Assembly in January 2020 when there was no coronavirus crisis. On the other hand, MP Hamdan Al-Azmi suggested establishing a ministry for agriculture that will be in charge of ensuring self-sufficiency of local agricultural production; as well as providing subsidy and support for Kuwaiti farmers who proved to be committed to their social responsibility during the current crisis.

In addition, Chairperson of the parliamentary Financial and Economic Affairs MP Safa’a Al-Hashem believes it is now time for discussing the bill; but the government must fully explain the modalities of managing and spending the money.

While disclosing that the committee has yet to receive the bill, she underscored the need to attend the meetings of the supreme committee chaired by the Central Bank of Kuwait governor.

She said the supreme committee has been tasked to outline the economic strategy in order to reach a common ground and enrich discussions on the bill to help the parliamentary committee and Assembly in deliberating on the bill in a more effective manner.

She also criticized the performance of Finance Minister Barrak Al-Shitan; claiming the latter is not efficient enough in terms of laying down a financial strategy for addressing the current crisis.

By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff

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