KUWAIT CITY, Oct 31: Amid continuous pressure mounting on the Minister of Oil and State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Dr Ali Al-Omair on the interpellation concerning irregularities detected in oil and agricultural sectors, the minister opted to deny news item published on 29/10/2015 relating to KD 900,000 bonus and end of service package, while concerned officials continue to affirm the news, reports Al-Seyassah daily.
The daily added that Minister of Oil opted to deny report about the “package” on social networking site “Twitter” despite the daily upholds and respects press and publication laws and traditions which guarantee the right to respond through an official statement to deny any false news published, whereas the daily insists that the report is true.
Perhaps, the minister denied the news item due to political embarrassment that followed the public reaction toward the report of nine hundred thousand dinars ‘end of service and bonus package’ while the economy is currently shaken by the declining global oil price. The daily said the minister declined to respond to phone calls made by Al-Seyassah for further clarification on the issue, and sources close to the minister affirmed that the majority of officials in Kuwait National Petroleum Corporation (KNPC) agreed on an additional KD 100,000 package to the end of service package.
A knowledgeable source mentioned that the minister in his capacity as chairman of the board council of KNPC will refuse to sign the decision. The same source explained the idea of bonus package goes back to the tenure of his predecessor Hani Hussein who discussed the issue with the board council and concluded on KD 150,000 to KD 200,000 in addition to annuity for the officials serving for 35 years.
The former minister had given the officials the ‘go-ahead’ and promised the bonus package will be endorsed later. Subsequently, the officials were paid pension and bonus package ranging from KD 700,000 to KD 900,000. Several other sources quoted the minister as having nothing to do with the promise made by the former minister and he’s not responsible for implementation of the decision, indicating he rejected the proposal before the board council.
An official close to the minister who requested anonymity affirmed that the majority of board members support the proposed “package”, indicating the minister’s negative response came out of embarrassment. Meanwhile, a former official who retired in 2013 affirmed that they received end of service package ranging from KD 500,000 to KD 600,000 with additional package reaching KD 200, 000 based on the years of service. He pointed to some privileges covering car, driver salary and telephone, stressing the size of package is no secret to the current and former officials.