KUWAIT CITY, Feb 10: Former minister of Social Affairs and Labor and former state minister for Municipal Affairs Dr Fadhel Al-Safar says the current status of the country is very dangerous because of the falling oil prices, indicating that Kuwait may one day end up having to borrow money for paying salaries. He said this during a seminar titled ‘Varying sources of income is a must’ which was organized by the Constitutional Unity Bloc last Monday. Dr Safar indicated that a comprehensive review should be carried out of every step that was ever taken so that the mistakes of the past and present can be corrected, and the past successes and failures can be evaluated.
He stressed that the reason for our present suffering is the total dependence on oil as the sole source of income, revealing that the state used to rely on handicrafts business before the discovery of oil and used to collect taxes and custom fees, which however were not enough to provide high level services to the people of Kuwait.
Dr Safar affi rmed that increased allowances and bonuses for state offi cials and the growing depreciation led to the rise in prices particularly that of housing and real estate, insisting that social stability and unity will help in overcoming the current economic crisis. He indicated that majority of the people in Kuwait are young and this fact gives hope for a good future for the country, stressing that Kuwait has several resources, next generation fund and vast uninhabited land, as only 8 percent of the country’s land has been occupied. Dr Safar explained that Kuwait’s foreign relations are quite strong, thanks to the wisdom of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah. It also has good democracy and Constitution that supports the country well. It has suffi cient laws but they need to be activated and applied.
Regarding the developmental plan, he explained that the total cost of the plan is about KD30 billion – KD15 billion from the private sector and KD15 billion from the public sector. It is not a democratic plan. More economical consultations as well as opinions of non-governmental organizations are required in this regard. About 17 companies were supposed to be established but the delay was because of unqualifi ed leadership.
Meanwhile, Vice-President of Research Department at Kuwait University and Assistant Secretary General of the Constitutional Unity Bloc Dr Haider Behbehani said Kuwait has a successful and honorable economic history, revealing that Kuwait was the fi rst Gulf country that started a biochemical industry and the stock market. A seminar titled ‘Lifting governmental subsidy due to collapse of oil prices’ was recently held at Al-Fadhala Diwaniya in Adaliya area.
During the seminar, all speakers agreed that the government must reveal the real circumstances of the country to the Kuwaiti nation which is concerned about the future of the country, reports Al-Qabas daily. They said the reduction of subsidies will not achieve social justice that is guaranteed by the Kuwaiti Constitution, as only a few people who are not ordinary citizens will benefi t from it.
By Fares Al-Abadan Al-Seyassah Staff