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Thursday , April 25 2019

Grilling vowed if VAT implemented – Panel mulls retirement age


KUWAIT CITY, Oct 29: The Financial and Economic Affairs Committee in the National Assembly on Sunday discussed a number of items in its agenda. Committee Rapporteur MP Saleh Ashour disclosed the proposed amendment of some provisions of the Social Insurance Law to reduce the retirement age for men and women and the proposal not to impose interest on social insurance loans are among the vital bills that the panel will endorse.

He said the priorities of the committee include proposals on the demographic structure, Kuwait Investment Authority Law and governance in government agencies. Meanwhile, Ministry of Finance Undersecretary Khalifa Hamadah stressed the tax agreement is in the hands of the Assembly, so it is now up to the lawmakers to approve it or not.

Hamadah made the statement in response to the threat of some MPs that they will grill the finance minister once the value added tax (VAT) is implemented. Asked about the government’s response in case the Assembly rejects the agreement and to compensate the amount that will be collected if VAT is implemented, Hamadah asserted the situation will be dealt with in a timely manner.

On revising the financial and economic reform document and completion of the new draft, he confirmed they are working towards completion of the document. Previously, he estimated annual revenues of KD 600 million if VAT and selective tax are implemented. He clarified the application of VAT may take a year, indicating this will strengthen non-oil revenues but it will not fully cover the deficit budget.

In another development, MP Osama Al-Shaheen hopes that any disruption in the performance of the government like resignation will not obstruct the legislation work of the Assembly. He added both parties in the grilling of the state minister for cabinet affairs – the grillers and the grilled — used high level of political speech. He explained the dissolution of the Assembly is not linked with the grilling of the minister as the latter is an evaluation of the performance of a public official by the representatives of the people. He believes the result of the no-confidence motion will lead to the formation of a good government in the next phase.

MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei has asked Minister of Commerce and Industry and State Minister for Youth Affairs Khalid Al-Roudhan to carry his bags and leave. He argued Al-Roudhan had earlier made a promise to the people of Kuwait that he would work towards lifting the suspension of Kuwaiti sports soon, but he only misled citizens.

On the other hand, the Kuwaiti parliamentary delegation headed by MP Waleed Al- Tabtabaei will participate in the first session of the second round of the second legislative term of the Arab Parliament in Khartoum, Sudan. In this round, the Arab Parliament will discuss the current situation in the Arab region in light of the crises experienced by Arab countries and efforts exerted by the Arab Parliament to solidify the joint Arab action.

The Arab Parliament committees will hold meetings within the framework of the conference to discuss their achievements in foreign affairs, political and national security, Arab economic integration, unified Arab legislation, laws and social development issues in the fields of education, culture, women’s affairs, youth and childhood. Members of the delegation that left the country on Saturday include MPs Ali Al-Deqbasi and Khalid Al-Otaibi.



By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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