Minister denies ‘delay’ in hospital project
KUWAIT CITY, May 26: Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al- Sabah has responded to the questions of MP Waleed Al- Tabtabaei about the loans that Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) granted to the Republic of the Philippines.
He said the report on loans granted to the Philippines since the establishment of KFAED until the date of submitting the questions includes the following information:
■ Direct or joint loans and contributions to the capitals of institutions,
■ Duration of loan payment,
■ Regulations in granting such loans,
■ The Philippines’ commitment in paying the loans,
■ Purpose of loans. He pointed out that the fund’s regulations stipulate granting development loans to Arab and other developing countries like the Philippines.
He disclosed the loans granted to the Philippines were used for the following:
■ Electricity project in Zamboanga — to provide electricity at lower prices as the small diesel units are costly. This project has been completed and its objectives have been achieved.
■ Three road projects — development of three roads in the Muslim-dominated island of Mindanao.
These projects have been completed. The minister clarified that KFAED has no intention to grant loans to the Philippines in the future as the latter has so far not applied for loans. On the other hand, he affirmed his ministry is processing financial transactions in accordance with Decree Number 31 of 1978 on preparing budgets and final accounts.
He said the decree states that the Ministry of Finance shall determine the formats of records and papers for financial transactions. He added the Ministry of Finance shall specify the conditions and regulations for disbursement, collection and other accounting procedures under the control of the State Audit Bureau (SAB).
Responding to the questions of MP Abdulwahab Al-Babtain, he stressed that his ministry plays its role in accordance with Amiri Decree Number 32 of 1962 on the protection of Kuwaiti interests abroad and taking measures in this regard as per the laws, regulations, treaties and international conventions. He said the ministry strictly implements foreign policies to serve national interests and in line with the directives issued in this regard. He explained the ministry coordinates and implements foreign policies of the State to maintain relations with foreign governments and international organizations while protecting the interests of Kuwaitis. He affirmed the ministry remains committed to the following articles of the decree:
Article Two: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is involved in all activities concerning relations of Kuwait with other countries.
Article 10: The ministry coordinates with other governments and ministries to serve the interests of all countries in terms of international tenders and other works.
Article 11: Protection of Kuwait’s interests abroad and taking measures in this regard. Furthermore, Minister of Health Dr Bassil Al-Sabah denied the alleged delay in the implementation the design, construction and furnishing phases of the new Sabah Hospital project. Responding to the questions of MP Mubarak Al-Hajraf, Shiekh Bassil revealed the contractor determines the progress of the project every month.
He said 38.77 percent of the project has been completed as of Feb 28, 2018 and the remaining work is 61.23 percent until the initial handover scheduled for March 31, 2019. He added the contract value is KD 178,989,995 and it was signed on April 27, 2014.
Commenting on the report that the project will be completed by the end of July 2019, the minister pointed out there might be a delay in the design phase due to the additional section requested by the Amiri Diwan. He reiterated that there was no delay until the end of February, disclosing the rate of expenditure for the project is 43 percent as of April 8, 2018 and the amount paid for the contract as of Jan 25, 2018 reached KD 64,769,582.385.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff