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Wednesday , February 8 2023

Assembly meets today, PM grilling tops session agenda

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KUWAIT CITY, March 28: The National Assembly is set to hold an ordinary session Tuesday and Wednesday, to examine interpellation of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, and other tabled items. The session will commence with rectifying minutes, queries, and messages followed by examining a grilling motion against the Prime Minister filed by MPs Dr. Hassan Jawhar, Muhannad Al-Sayer and Khaled Al-Otaibi. The three axes interpellation considers the prime minister’s “unconstitutional practices, lack of cooperation with legislative authority, compromising citizens’ interests” and squandering of public funds.”

In that regard, article 100 of the Kuwaiti Constitution stipulates that members of parliaments have the right to file a grilling motion against cabinet ministers or the prime minister. The prime minister had previously requested postponing the interpellation for two weeks, to be examined in the session scheduled tomorrow, March 29. Furthermore on the session’s agenda is a host of parliamentary committees’ reports including replacing the term “servant” with “domestic worker”, responding to the inaugural Amiri speech, as well as looking into government work plan for the years (2021/2022-2024/2025).

The agenda also includes reports by committees regarding decrees and bills including one dealing with amendments of the criminal prosecution, the civil service, Israel’s boycott and barring normalization with “the Zionist enemy or its organizations.” Other tabled topics are development of small and medium enterprises, environment protection, rights of undocumented residents and adoption of public departments’ final account.

Meanwhile, MP Fares Al-Otaibi has submitted a bill on amending Diplomat and Consular Work Law number 21/1961 to add Article 45 bis that stipulates granting indemnity equal to five years full salary and allowances to commissioners with 30 years in service, while those with shorter service period will receive four years full salary plus allowances. MP Hesham Al-Saleh has proposed amending National Assembly Law number 12/1963 to include stipulation on the formation of a parliamentary disciplinary committee consisting of the chairpersons of all legislative committees.

According to the proposal, the committee will be authorized to investigate any MP referred by a panel consisting of the Assembly speaker, deputy speaker, observer and secretary general. The proposed committee will interrogate MPs suspected of violating social, moral and religious values. This does not apply to ministers. The committee will summon the suspected MP for questioning and then take a decision – dismiss the case or impose punishment that ranges from issuance of a warning to suspension from participation in parliamentary work for three months and non-payment of monthly incentive.

The MP has the right to submit a complaint on the committee’s decision to the Assembly and this complaint will be included in the agenda of the upcoming ordinary session. During the session, the Assembly will listen to the defense of the MP and the explanation of the Disciplinary Committee. The Assembly will take the final decision – dismiss the case, reduce the penalty or uphold the committee’s decision. The MP is not allowed to vote on the decision and he must leave the session hall during the voting process.

On the other hand, MP Muhannad Al-Sayer asked Minister of Health Dr Khalid Al-Saeed if his ministry intends to allocate a building for the General Medical Council in accordance with its requirements and the number of individuals dealing with it. If yes, he wants to know if the construction work has started or if the ministry will rent a building for this purpose. He also asked Minister of Finance and Minister of State for Economic and Investment Affairs Abdulwahab Al- Rashid if the Central Bank of Kuwait issued administrative decisions to fill vacant supervisory positions in the last six months. If yes, he requested for copies of such decisions.

He wants to know if a committee has been tasked to assess the files of officials nominated to supervisory positions and if any of the workers have complained that they were not nominated to such positions even if they are qualified, and if a decision has been issued to change the job titles of expatriate workers at the Central Bank since Jan 1, 2021 till date. If yes, he demanded for copies of the decisions, including the reasons for taking such a step. He inquired if workers have been appointed to Central Bank since Jan 1, 2021 till date. If yes, he requested for copies of job advertisements. In another development, Budgets and Final Accounts Committee Chairman MP Adnan Abdulsamad said the panel discussed Monday the budget of the Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS) for fiscal 2022/2023 and its final account for fiscal 2020/2021.

Abdulsamad disclosed the estimated revenue of PIFSS reached KD5.8 billion while the estimated expenditure is KD4.7 billion and estimated profit is KD1.2 billion. He added there are about 200 vacancies in the institution. He said the committee recorded a positive development – increase in revenues from investments compared to deposits. He revealed the deposits of PIFSS in 2015 reached KD12 billion compared to only KD1 billion at present. Regarding the actuarial deficit, Abdulsamad stated that the last deficit determined by International Labor Organization (ILO) was in 2016 – KD17.3 billion. According to PIFSS, the deficit in 2019 was KD20.3 billion, compared to KD22.7 billion in 2021 while the estimated deficit for 2022 is KD24 billion; he added. He explained there are two methods of determining the deficit – open and closed; indicating PIFSS adopted the closed method, while the State Audit Bureau (SAB) recommended the open method which minimizes the deficit. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff and Agencies

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