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KUWAIT CITY, Nov 21: MP Hamdan Al-Azmi has filed a grilling motion against the Minister of Public Works, Electricity, Water and Renewable Energy Amani Suleman Bugamaz – the first in the 17th legislative term. Al-Azmi disclosed the grilling motion is about the conflict of interests, indicating that Bugamaz misled the MPs. He warned that it is dangerous for the public treasury if the minister remains in office, considering she worked as consultant at Limac – the company tasked to establish the new international airport. He wondered how Bugamaz will monitor the performance of Limac as public works minister, since she used to defend the company as it is part of her previous consultancy job. He said Bugamaz used to argue with officials at the Ministry of Public Works in a bid to cancel fines imposed on the company for the delayed implementation of the project, and now, she is the superior of the same officials.
National Assembly Speaker Ahmed Al-Saadoun confirmed receiving the grilling motion in a press conference. He said he sent copies of the grilling motion to His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and the concerned minister, indicating the motion will be included in the agenda of the next ordinary session as per the regulations. Meanwhile, Chairman of the Budgets and Final Accounts Committee MP Adel Al-Damkhi disclosed that the panel on Monday discussed the final accounts and budgets for fiscal 2021/2022 with the Ministry of Finance undersecretary, and representatives of the State Audit Bureau (SAB) and Financial Controllers Bureau (FCB) in attendance. He revealed the total revenues of ministries and their subsidiaries for the aforementioned fiscal year reached KD18.61 billion — 77 percent higher than the revenues in fiscal 2020/2021, the total expenditures reached KD21.60 billion (two percent higher than the previous year) and the deficit reached KD3 billion. The estimated revenues reached KD10.90 billion and oil revenues reached KD16.21 billion — KD 7.4 billion higher than the previous year, while the estimate was KD9.10 billion.
Non-oil revenues reached KD2.40 billion, while the estimate was KD1.80 billion. The Ministry of Electricity and Water recorded the highest non-oil revenue — KD513 million and 92 percent of which has been collected. Kuwait Administration of Customs (KGAC) recorded a revenue of KD322 million (85 percent has been collected, the Ministry of Finance recorded KD258 million (18 percent has been collected), and the Ministry of Health recorded KD201 million. The total expenditures of ministries and other public institutions reached KD21. 60 billion — KD12.63 (58 percent) billion for salaries and allowances, KD3.81 billion for subsidies and KD2.56 billion as capital expenditure. The petty cash reached KD4.15 billion — 13 percent lower than the previous fiscal year, while the debts owed to the government reached KD2.18 billion; most which are related to oil shipments, in addition to the citizens’ debt to the Ministry of Electricity and Water and KGAC.
On the other hand, the government’s debt totaled KD379 million. Al-Damkhi stressed the need to rationalize capital expenditures; calling on His Highness the Prime Minister to prioritize the new residential areas, in addition to linking ministries with the overseas departments and offices to speed up the collection of revenues.
In another development, MPs Osama Al-Zaid, Hamad Al-Medlej, Saad Al-Asfour Al- Hajri, Shuaib Al-Muwaizri and Osama Al-Shaheen submitted a proposal for the Health Affairs Committee to investigate the alleged violations at the Health Ministry; such as allowing the entry of commodities and foodstuff rejected by the Public Authority for Food and Nutrition, illegal appointments, conditions of laboratories, veterinarians in the authority, excellent performance incentive and cases referred to the Public Prosecution.
Furthermore, Al-Zaid forwarded queries to Minister of Finance Abdulwahab Al-Rashead about the negative impact of the termination of the four members of the Board of Directors at the Central Bank of Kuwait, such as the lack of quorum in meetings. He asked about the number of meetings that had quorum since the beginning of 2022 till date, reasons behind the delayed appointment of the replacement of the four board members, and if job advertisements were published to fill up these vacancies.
He also asked Minister of Health Ahmed Abdulwahab Al-Adwadi to provide him with details of contracts signed with Pfizer, Moderna and Astra Zeneca for the supply of Covid-19 vaccines, quantity of vaccines provided by each company, number of doses given to citizens and expatriates, and number of spoiled vaccines and causes. He said the price of each dose stated in the Pfizer contract is $24; inquiring about the variation orders if any and fines imposed on these companies for delayed delivery of the vaccines if any. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff