MP expresses concern over direction of Fund for SME Dev
KUWAIT CITY, Feb 24: Salaries, allowances, and entitlements for some 354 senior officials in the country within three years exceeded KD 65 million, equivalent to $210 million, reports Al-Rai daily.
This was made known in a recent report by State Audit Bureau based on National Assembly’s request to collate the expenditure of government officials within the period in review concerning salaries, allowances, and additional entitlements.
The expenditure of government officials for 2012-2014, worth KD 65 million, did not include foreign mission allowances, committee membership remunerations and excellent performance bonus. Report stated that government officials got about $70 million per year, indicating each official received around $200,000—an average of $16,500 per month, which is illogical since some of them earn more and others earn less depending on sectors they belong to.
It noted 354 officials were at the level of assistant undersecretary and those above and below them. It also said 152 of them were in the ministries, 68 in affiliated sectors, 42 in independent agencies and 92 in oil sector.
Officials from oil sector within the period in review received KD 28 million and their counterparts in the ministries and government departments got KD 17 million, while those in the affiliated government sectors received KD 11 million and KD 7 million for officials at independent agencies.
Meanwhile, the National Fund for SME Development aims at supporting young Kuwaitis, and plays a vital role in opening ways for youths who are seeking to develop themselves and join the private sector, reports Al-Rai daily quoting informed sources.
They explained that the recent amendments proposed by the MPs were approved in the initial discussions aimed at developing the work of the youths and discussing the mistakes that emerged when the law was implemented.
These amendments took into consideration the observations of the youths, and include changing the subsidy amount allocated for small and medium projects.
The sources revealed that the government does not mind if the parliament wants to keep the limit of the subsidy at KD 500,000, indicating that it is up to the MPs to present the amendments they want before the next session is held.
Meanwhile, Rapporteur of the parliament’s Subsidy Committee MP Adnan Abdulsamad lamented that the National Fund for SME Development no longer represents the objectives for which it was founded. He expressed his concern that the fund will be aimed at only financing the projects owned by the children of millionaires, stressing, “The fact that they cancelled the limit of KD 500,000 for subsidizing small and medium projects means they can subsidize projects worth KD 5 million or more and will not considered as violating the law”.
MP Abdulsamad affirmed the intention to ensure the fund is beneficial for youths who are starting their own small projects, adding, “If they want to change the subsidy amount, they might raise it to KD 1 million or more but there must be a fixed maximum limit for the subsidy”.