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There was confusion in my last article on The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) as my personal opinion was mixed with the opinions of researcher Amani Al-Bidah, so it was necessary to mention, as the majority of what was stated in the article was my opinion.
Despite the calls I received from two dignified personalities, regarding their opinion on the invalidity of what I mentioned regarding the legality of joint-stock companies paying 1% of their profits to KFAS because they believe that it is unconstitutional, and the unconstitutionality of the previous Amiri decrees related to reducing the percentage twice, and how imposing this percentage and its adjustment are at the core of the work of the National Assembly, and this has not been achieved.
However, I remain with my opinion of the soundness of the current situation, and the necessity of its continuation, after nearly half a century has passed since it was established in 1976, with the initiative and acceptance of the boards of directors of the joint-stock companies, which established KFAS, and no one imposed it on it, and the following reductions came based on its claims, and it was considered then and still is a kind of contribution to social responsibility.
The Fatwa and Legislation has previously issued an opinion regarding the validity of joint stock companies paying the percentage, and not considering it a tax, but a contribution.
We go back to the situation of KFAS and we add that the problem is not related to the unconstitutionality of the deduction, as this is a matter that the Board of Directors of the Foundation can decide on in the future, but is related to the absence of the role of its first founders in its management.
The absence of governance and transparency in the work of KFAS prompted some to consider challenging the constitutionality of what is collected from joint-stock companies.
The second problem is that KFAS is also related to the high hopes that were placed upon it, but not much has been achieved.
This is true, but before placing the blame on the Foundation we must know that the funds it has accumulated are approximately 700 million dinars, and only from the proceeds of this amount are spent on its projects.
The sustainability of KFAS requires limiting the expenditure within the available returns, and not from the principal amount, even if it spends all the funds it has under its control, it is not really enough to spend on a huge and costly project such as scientific research.
Israel, which we consider to be our enemy, and we have not learned anything from it, and which has defeated us in every military, civil and cultural arena, would not have achieved this without what it spent, nearly a century ago on scientific research, the establishment of advanced laboratories, and the recruitment of rare minds, and this made it the country with the most progress and strength in the region, scientific research requires spending billions, and not just spending tens of millions, most of which goes to salaries and other things.
KFAS needs a future vision and a new and clear strategy, with greater interest from the government in its work, and this requires increasing its contribution to its budget by allocating a percentage of the state’s general budget to it, then, and only then, the Foundation can be held accountable for its achievements.
By Ahmad alsarraf