Friday , December 15 2017

MP calls for economic reforms – Cabinet reshuffle seen

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 11: MP Talal Al-Jalal has called on the government to carry out necessary economic reforms to address the budget deficit caused by the falling oil prices. He stressed the need for government to find alternative sources of income that will contribute to address the imbalance in the existing budget; stressing it is time to change the dependency on oil as the sole source of income.

He stressed the survival of general revenues in the sale of oil and its derivatives, as the main financier of the budget and the greatest source of income for the state threatened by the falling prices, makes it necessary to focus on restructuring the state budget and addressing the imbalances to enhance non-oil revenues of state.

He denounced any action that targets the common citizens and their survival, and warned of dire consequences by imposing any new fee or taxes on the citizen. He stressed the importance of searching for real sources of income by fostering investment opportunities in Kuwait, besides a review of the rent and prices of state property, developing tourist facilities, imposing taxes on companies and instituting other sources of income that are no less important than oil, since the commodity continues to witness a sharp decline in price. Meanwhile, several MPs have praised HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al- Mubarak Al-Sabah for declaring his financial assets to the Anti-Corruption Authority, urging all other ministers and officials in the country to follow his example to reinforce law.

For his part, head of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee Hamad Al- Harshani commended the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah for declaring his financial assets to the Anti- Corruption Authority and expressed respect and admiration for his transparency and impartial initiative. In a press statement, Al-Harshani stressed that the Prime Minister’s decision of disclosing his finances is an example for all ministers and officials to emulate, and “there’s no doubt he combines words and deeds, and has been proactive and compliant with the law”.

MP Mohammed Tana considered the Prime Minister’s financial disclosure to the authority for fighting corruption an added value to his biography, urging all ministers and officials in the country to follow his example to enforce law. He said “the prime minister has once again proven to be a pacesetter in the application of law by complying with the first item of Article 2 of Anti-Corruption Law, which states that the provisions of the law apply to the Prime Minister, his deputies and other ministers with portfolio”. He stressed the Premier is keen on pushing the wheels of development forward by ensuring that laws are applied equally on everyone.

For his part, MP Abdullah Al-Adwani extolled the step taken by His Highness the Prime Minister to disclose his finances to the Anti-Corruption Authority, adding the Premier is an example and a role model for all ministers. He stated the prime minister’s compliance with Anti-Corruption Law adds value to his credibility, as he’s already known for fighting corruption, coupled with his reformist approach which is based on transparency and clarity.

He called on other ministers to disclose their financial assets. He added the Prime Minister has made many significant achievements and contributed a lot to legislation passed by the National Assembly through emphasis on the principle of Government — Parliament cooperation. He pointed out that government on more than one occasion has stressed on fighting corruption and holding perpetrators responsible.

In another issue, MP Saleh Ashour said the current wave of interpellations presented by the MPs before inauguration of the fourth legislative term reflect two key indicators. He explained the first indicator confirms government’s intention to reshuffle the Cabinet to get rid of ministers that exhibited poor performance in their duties. He pointed to the Parliament’s desire to open the door of accountability and repeat the process of parliamentary questioning as the second indicator, and expected that government will study interpellations very well and measure the cost to be borne by government in that regard. He advised government to desist from standing in the way of the MPs’ demand to dismiss ministers who fall short in their performance. He did not rule out the majority of MPs will submit a motion of non-cooperation against the government based on dissatisfaction, which may lead to the dissolution of Government and a new ministerial formation.

Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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