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Grilling motion filed against Deputy PM

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KUWAIT CITY, Jan 16: MP Jenan Bu Shehri has filed a grilling motion against Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Barrak Al-Sheetan on the following issues:

■ Misusage of Article 80 of law number 61/1976 on allowing the Council of Ministers to grant exceptional salary and pension to senior officials including ministers, lawmakers and members of the Municipal Council. Bu Shehri pointed out that on Nov 28, 2022; the council approved Salary Increment Decree number 191/2022 to increase the salaries of minister by KD3,000. She said the council took this decision after the submission of the bill on canceling the aforementioned article.

■ Appointment of senior officials who did not meet the conditions. The lawmaker disclosed that she forwarded queries on the decision that the council issued on Nov 7, 2022 to appoint senior officials who failed to fulfill the conditions. She explained this is in preparation for the submission of the grilling motion. She affirmed that the ministers have the right to appoint senior officials, but this should be done in accordance with the regulations.

■ Failure of the minister to consolidate the priorities of the government and National Assembly. State Minister for National Assembly Affairs, Housing and Urban Development Affairs Ammar Al-Ajmi sent a letter to the Assembly on Jan 8, 2023; asking for approval of several bills excluded from the parliamentary priorities. The lawmakers voted against the request in a bid to expose the lack of coordination between the two authorities, Bu Shehri added. In a related development, Assembly Speaker Ahmed Al-Saadoun has confirmed receiving the grilling motion; and that he forwarded the motion to His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and the concerned minister. He said the motion will be included in the agenda of the upcoming parliamentary session in accordance with the National Assembly Law.

Stipulated

Meanwhile, MP Faisal Al- Kandari clarified that when those who drafted the Constitution stipulated the government membership of at least one lawmaker; their aim was to ensure the presence of such ministers in parliamentary sessions even if the other ministers are absent. He argued the principle of government solidarity is not applicable to the elected ministers who are supposed to be part of the lawmakers, not necessarily the government. He called on the elected ministers — Minister of National Assembly, Housing and Urban Development Affairs Ammar Al- Ajmi and Minister of Oil Bader Al-Mullah to rectify the mistake they committed when they boycotted the sessions slated for Jan 10-11.

On the other hand, MP Adel Al-Damkhi submitted a proposal to cancel the fourth clause of Civil Service Commission (CSC) resolution number 1/2005 on the allowances granted to Kuwaiti engineers. He recommended granting site allowance to these engineers even if they are on leave. MP Ahmed Lari has unveiled his plan to submit a bill on increasing the cost of living allowance of citizens working in the public and private sectors from KD 120 to KD 300. He said this amount is enough to cover the loan installments of citizens; considering the maximum loanable amount is KD 25,000 payable in five years maximum. He added that in case the monthly payment is higher than KD 300, then the borrower can ask the bank to reschedule the payments such that the installment is KD 300 per month.

If the bank rejects this, the government can pay a certain percentage of the loan, he suggested. He explained the bill is aimed at resolving the disagreement between the legislative and executive authorities over the Citizens Loans Purchase Bill that the government submitted earlier. In addition, the fact-finding committee tasked to investigate the Karacal helicopter and Eurofighter aircraft deals on Monday discussed various aspects of the contracts with Brigadier Eng Faisal Khalifa Al-Saif, Brigadier General Nasser Yaaqiub Bu Qrais and Colonel Hesham Muhammad Al-Hashash.

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