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Legislators discuss electricity charges – ‘Usage … not money’

KUWAIT CITY, March 8: The parliamentary Financial and Economic Affairs Committee discussed Tuesday the proposed electricity charges based on consumption with the Ministry of Electricity and Water’s representatives. Committee Chairman MP Faisal Al-Shaye disclosed they looked into the possibility of regulating power consumption by determining charges in accordance with the actual consumption. He explained the proposal aims to rationalize use of electricity, not to earn more money.

He said the committee decided to continue deliberations on the proposal on Saturday, affi rming the panel informed the government that it will not accept any proposal which will negatively affect the low and middle-income earners.

He added those who attended the meeting presented fi nancial and technical ideas to modify the electricity charges, clarifying that the government has the right to present its proposals but the committee will make the decision and then submit it to the Parliament for voting. He disclosed the proposal categorized consumers into four –residential, investment, commercial and industrial. Fees for residential units are as follows: 1 to 3,000 kilowatts will cost three fils; 3,001 to 6,000 kilowatts will cost eight fils; 6,001 to 9,000 kilowatts will be 10 fils.

For investment buildings, 1 to 1,000 kilowatts will cost five fils; 1,001 to 2,000 kilowatts will be eight fils; and from 2,001 to 3,000 kilowatts will be 10 fils. For commercial buildings, the fee will be 19 fils per kilowatt while that of the industrial buildings will remain the same — two fils per kilowatt.

In another development, MP Saleh Ashour has submitted an interpellation request against Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Hind Al-Subaih on two issues — privatization of cooperative societies and welfare home for orphans.

According to parliamentary sources, Ashour had earlier met MPs Mohammed Tanna and Abdullah Al-Mayouf to coordinate their efforts in grilling the minister but it seems the latter two have pulled out. Sources said the three MPs were looking into confirming 10 signatures prior to submitting the interpellation in order to ensure a vote of no confidence, but Ashour said nothing about the subject when he submitted the grilling motion on Tuesday.

It is then assumed that the MP failed to confirm the signatures considering he submitted the motion alone, not with Tanna and Al-Mayouf. Commenting on the motion, Al-Subaih said interpellation is the constitutional right of every MP and she respects it. Since the MP is practicing this right in a respectful manner, she will respond and comply in a respectful manner as well.

On the other hand, MP Rakaan Al-Nusuf unveiled his plan to grill Health Minister Dr Ali Al-Obaidi soon, indicating he submitted a number of queries to the minister shortly after his last interpellation to follow up the grilling points and recommendations. He said it seems the minister has done nothing, stating that concluding an interpellation does not mean no follow up action on the part of the Parliament. He stressed the need for the minister to respond to all the queries, or else, “he will find himself on the grilling podium again.”

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim and Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Ar ab Times Staff

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