‘Vital’ NATO Convention wins nod
ASSEMBLY FOREIGN AFFAIRS PANEL APPROVES 9 AGREEMENTS
KUWAIT CITY, March 19: The parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday approved nine agreements, stressing the importance of the NATO Convention that the National Assembly returned to the committee for further study. Committee Rapporteur MP Mohammed Al-Huwailah confirmed in a press statement that they approved nine agreements, including the NATO Convention. “We heard the opinion of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Counselor Mishaan Ajami and we concluded that this convention is vital to the security of the country as well as its regional and international status. It supplements the transit agreement for NATO personnel and troops that the Assembly approved earlier.”
He explained the NATO Convention that the committee approved on Monday gives the international alliance a regional center for providing necessary information and support, especially in light of developments which are not hidden from anyone. He added the committee approved a proposal that Kuwaitis should constitute at least 80 percent of the staff in foreign missions.
On another issue, Al-Huwailah has forwarded questions to Minister of Oil, Electricity and Water Bakheet Shibeeb Al-Rasheedi about the rampant stealing in electricity and water stations. He pointed out the failure of the Ministry of Electricity and Water in stopping the stealing of electrical cables and parts of underground wells which caused enormous losses to the public treasury. He said this also resulted in frequent disruptions in the network and lower production of groundwater.
He wants to know why the ministry did not take the necessary security measures to protect State properties and prevent theft in electricity and water stations; if there are specialized security companies tasked to protect these stations; if yes, what steps were taken against these companies for failure to stop thefts; if no, why didn’t the ministry sign contracts with security companies to protect State properties; other items stolen from the stations if any; if the Legal Department in the ministry followed up theft cases; if yes, he wants to know the number of such cases, action taken and judgment issued; if no, what are the reasons for not following up these cases?
Furthermore, the Budget and Final Accounts Committee discussed Monday the second section of capital expenditures — purchase of noncurrent assets — in the presence of representatives of the State Audit Bureau (SAB), Ministry of Finance and Financial Controllers Agency.
Committee Chairman MP Adnan AbdulSamad said the Ministry of Finance failed to justify the increase in some amounts, such as the allocation of KD 50 million for meeting security conditions after the bombing of Imam Al-Sadiq Mosque. He added the Ministry of Defense did not submit an updated final account regarding the armaments budget approved in fiscal 2015/2016, while the regulatory bodies are dodging their responsibilities in following up the issue. Committee member MP Safaa Al- Hashem asserted the financial situation of the State is a reflection of its administrative situation. She also stressed the need for a rational government and clear disbursement mechanism. She added the committee found a wide gap between financial and administrative management in the State’s organizational structure.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff