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‘Dismantling will not affect rights of citizens working in ministry’
KUWAIT CITY, Jan 17: The Council of Ministers approved the plan of the Ministry of Electricity, Water and Renewable Energy to transform the ministry into an institution with the right to establish affiliated government companies dealing with electricity, water and renewable energy activities, reports Al- Qabas daily. The dismantling of the Ministry of Electricity and Water, and its conversion into a corporation that owns commercial subsidiaries, according to sources, has actually begun, as the ministry is awaiting the approval of the Central Agency for Public Tenders to fl oat a tender to invite international consulting houses to complete the study.
The sources stressed that the process of converting the ministry into an corporation and subsidiaries will not affect any material or moral rights of the citizens working in it. A document – seen by Al-Qabas daily – revealed that the Ministry of Electricity, Water and Renewable Energy has a parallel plan that it is working on alongside a plan to transform it into an institution and its subsidiaries, centering on the localization of the government sector and relying on national elements in implementing the various fields of work, and reducing the need for expatriate workers, increasing the participation of national labor in conducting operational and maintenance work in various technical fields of work, supported by technical qualification, with a focus on training programs.
The plan also includes a review of the subsidies provided to the various consumption sectors to which Law No. 20 of 2016 applies regarding the tariffs for the electricity and water units, in addition to working to maximize the revenues collected from customers through a set of financial and legal measures aimed at speeding up work to collect electricity and water consumption bills.
The plan also includes working to facilitate customers in paying the ministry’s dues, such as facilitating the procedures for paying bills via smart phone and banking links, in addition to paying through the ministry’s main website, while making sure to make it easier for customers to pay through flexible payment, by rescheduling amounts especially for citizens through installments, according to debt declarations appended to the executive formula for those wishing to install these amounts and those who are unable to pay in one go.
The sources said that subsidizing electricity and water consumes a large part of the budget allocated for subsidies in the general budget, as government subsidies for electricity and water during the last five years amounted to about 6.7 billion dinars, through fuel subsidies for the operation of power and water generation plants.
According to studies, per capita consumption of water and electricity in Kuwait is the highest in the world, for two reasons — the hot and dry climate and the state’s generous support for prices. The per capita consumption of electricity in Kuwait (in kilowatt-hours) is about 3.5 times the global average and the per capita consumption of water is the highest, reaching 500 liters per day. The cost of providing fresh water in Kuwait through desalination plants exceeds 370 million dinars annually. At the current rate of consumption, the cost of desalination is expected to exceed Kuwait’s oil revenues by 2050, according to estimates by the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research.