KUWAIT CITY, Jan 19: His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah yesterday met seven Shiite lawmakers following the end of their boycott of the National Assembly sessions, reports Al-Rai daily.
Parliamentary sources said the meeting lasted one hour during which recent developments were discussed.
The parliamentarians also paid careful attention to the vision of the Amir concerning local and regional issues. None of the lawmakers made a statement after their return to the National Assembly and met in the office of MP Dr Yusuf Al-Zalzalah.
The lawmakers who met HH the Amir are Adnan Abdul Samad, Dr Yusuf Al-Zalzalah, Ahmed Lari, Dr Abdul Hameed Dashti, Khalil Al-Saleh, Khalil Abdullah, and Abdullah Al-Tamimi. It has been reported MPs Saleh Ashour and Faisal Al-Duwaisan did not attend the meeting since they are outside the country.
The government must present its current and future plans in facing the consequences of the continuous oil price decline, which has reached the lowest level since 2003, says MP Faisal Al-Kandari. He warned that economic disaster is inevitable if the price of oil falls below $20 per barrel, indicating the lawmakers want the government to find ways to diversify sources of income rather than being totally dependent on oil.
He pointed out some GCC countries have started diversifying their sources of income by attracting global capital into the domestic market, along with the development of the tourism sector and infrastructure. He asserted these countries’ announcement on exporting the last barrel of oil soon clearly shows that they do not depend on oil as the sole source of income.
He called for serious deliberations on proposals related to the diversification of income sources; while stressing the need to implement a contingency plan within a specific period. He also emphasized the importance of rationalizing public expenditures without touching the pockets of citizens and the vital development projects. He urged everyone to do their part in saving the country from the dire consequences of the continuous oil price decline.
Meanwhile, the parliamentary Priorities Committee discussed Tuesday the agenda for the next session. Committee Rapporteur MP Ahmed Lari disclosed items in the agenda include the following:
■ Report of the Priorities Committee on laws ratifi ed by the Parliament, but the bylaws have yet to be issued.
■ Report of the Legislative and Legal Committee on the proposal to add a new paragraph to Article 180 of the legislature’s internal regulations.
■ Report of the Women and Family Affairs Committee on adding a new article to law number 31/2008 regarding the medical check-up for couples planning to get married.
■ Report of the Foreign Affairs Committee on the amended agreement for Arab cooperation in providing aid to the needy.
■ Draft law on Kuwait joining the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).
■ Report of the Foreign Affairs Committee about the draft law on the Arabic convention against terrorism.
■ Request to allocate two hours of the session to discuss points in the interpellation motion submitted by MP Abdullah Al- Turaiji regarding the appointments and promotions approved by the former minister of Commerce and Industry.
In another development, the lawmakers demanded for quick intervention of the Kuwaiti government in determining the whereabouts of Mohsen Barrak Al-Ajmi — the Kuwaiti who was reportedly abducted from his farm in Lebanon a few days ago. MP Abdullah Al-Adwani asked the Foreign Affairs Ministry to coordinate with the Lebanese offi cials in order to fi nd Al-Ajmi immediately. He said the government of Kuwait must closely follow up the issue to ensure that Al-Ajmi returns home safely.
MP Mohammad Tana asserted, “It is very painful to know that a Muslim Arab was kidnapped in a Muslim Arab country.” He demanded for daily updates from the Kuwaiti Embassy in Lebanon, considering the repeated kidnapping of Kuwaitis there. He added the Foreign Affairs Committee will ask the foreign affairs minister to brief the Parliament on the procedures being taken to rescue Al-Ajmi.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff and Agencies