MPs voice discontent on delay in answering queries
KUWAIT CITY, Feb 5: The Cabinet, in its weekly meeting, set the supplementary National Assembly elections for March 16 in order to fill two vacant seats (second and third constituencies) in view of the cancellation of the membership of Waleed Al-Tabtabaei and Jamaan Al-Harbash who were convicted of storming the legislative building.
Consequently, the Cabinet instructed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Lieutenant General Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah to take the necessary executive measures to conduct the elections.
Meanwhile, the Assembly during its ordinary session Tuesday unanimously approved the proposal to amend the decision of the Foreign Ministers Council on the schedule of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Summit.
The bill consists of two articles which stipulate holding the summit every two years in order to adequately address important issues concerning the Islamic world in light of rapid global developments.
Additionally, the Assembly also approved the proposed amendment of some provisions of Law No. 47/93 on housing welfare and Law No. 27/95 on the contribution of the private sector in using State-owned land for the implementation of housing projects.
The bill addressed some flaws in these two laws to allow the widow of a martyr to possess the deed of her late husband’s house and for the government not to seize the property once the couple’s children get married.
On houses seized or returned to the government, the bill states that priority in redistribution is given to those who submitted housing grant applications and then for public auction.
Furthermore, during deliberations on parliamentary queries, MPs voiced discontent over the delayed and vague replies of ministers. They pointed out such a behavior does not promote cooperation, especially since the government has been lax in supervising State projects; thereby, causing delays and adding to the burdens of the Amiri Diwan.
MP Abdullah Al-Roumi disclosed that the responses to his queries on the finances of Jaber Al-Ahmed Cultural Center were inconclusive and did not even answer the easiest question – the authority which manages the center’s finances. Al-Roumi submitted the queries to State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh.
Apparently, the questions were redirected to the minister of information who affirmed the responses were adequate while pointing out the center is not under his jurisdiction. The lawmaker asserted he did not ask for confidential information, so he demanded for appropriate answers to his queries.
On the other hand, MP Safaa Al- Hashem raised doubt on the finance minister’s reply to her query about the Value Added Tax (VAT) saying: “It appeared like copy-paste from Google.” She wondered why the government is keen on imposing taxes on citizens considering the lopsided population structure, indicating the number of foreigners in the country is three times that of citizens but the government does not take anything from foreigners.
By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff