KUWAIT CITY, Aug 21: The Budget and Final Accounts Committee in the National Assembly has attributed the poor quality of education and health services to the government’s mismanagement of national affairs. In its report, the committee pointed out that despite the huge budgets allocated for the educational and health sectors, they have not improved over the past five years and this is a clear indication that the problem is not financial.
It also commented on the statement of Finance Minister Anas Al-Saleh regarding the current economic situation, asserting the wage program reform mentioned in the statement will not be effective for agencies whose point of reference is the Civil Service Commission (CSC).
The committee explained that these agencies determine salaries through their governing boards; hence, the differences in the salaries of public sector workers The committee also cited financial reforms focusing on changing the State’s role from direct production to regulator and observer of economic activities, which means giving the private sector the production role for goods and services as a whole.
It said the government’s plan to privatize certain sectors or implement some projects in partnership with the private sector does not consider the negative aspects of work in the private sector; such as lack of job security and failure to set the minimum wage for each job and career according to years of experience. It also highlighted the fact that the performance of Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) has declined for the third year in a row — by 63 percent.
Housing services recorded the highest increase rate with inflation rising by 6.25 percent, adding to the financial burdens of citizens due to failure to address housing problems and soaring rental fees. The committee argued that “Before talking about putting economic activities under the private sector and gradual withdrawal from production role to become a regulator and observer, we must evaluate the ability of the private sector to play this pivotal role, as well as the protection it provides to national employees and its commitment to generate job opportunities for the current and future workforce; especially since the expatriates constitute 94 percent of the labor force in the non-governmental sector compared to six percent Kuwaitis.”
Meanwhile, MP Saleh Ashour has forwarded questions to Information Minister Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Homoud Al-Sabah about the Water Village Ashour stated that local newspapers and social networking sites published news on the Water Village whose opening ceremony cost around of KD 215,000 according to a letter from Condor Global Company.
He wants to know whether the Water Village belongs to Touristic Enterprises Company (TEC) which is owned by Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) or a private company. He asked: Who are the owners of Condor Global Company? What is the company’s role in the opening ceremony? Does the company own the Water Village? He also inquired if it is true that the abovementioned amount was spent only for the activities of the opening ceremony.
If yes, did they put the project up for bidding? What are the justifications for spending such amount for the ceremony? In another development, the Public Prosecution has put the name of MP Abdul- Hameed Dashti on the Interpol list to pave way for his arrest and handover to Kuwaiti authorities. Earlier, the Criminal Court sentenced Dashti in absentia to 14 years and six months in prison for insulting Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, encouraging others to join Hezbollah and abusing the Attorney General.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff