‘Gasoline price hike, VAT decisions disturbing’
KUWAIT CITY, Sept 5: MP Sadoun Hammad Al-Otaibi expects political questioning and interpellation motions against Minister of Finance Anas Al-Saleh, and Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and State Minister for Economic Affairs Hind Al-Sabeeh in the next legislative round.
He said some ministers have shortcomings, especially Al-Sabeeh, considering the irregularities in her work at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor and the Public Authority for Handicapped Affairs (PAHA) particularly the promotions and appointments which are based on favoritism. “Despite knowing these anomalies and after receiving many complaints either directly from oppressed employees or through the MPs, she did not respond and did not ensure justice for many,” he added while urging his colleagues to stand with citizens in order to guarantee that they are treated fairly.
He went on to say that the same applies to Al-Saleh who, from time to time, harms citizens through certain decisions — the most disturbing of which are the gasoline price hike and Value Added Tax (VAT).
He asserted the ministers should not be alarmed by the interpellation motions and they should welcome such procedure as the MPs want nothing but to clarify issues and correct imbalances. He stressed there is no place for personal interpellation motions in the National Assembly because the lawmakers are keen on serving public interests. He disclosed some lawmakers intend to grill a number of ministers due to suspicions of misappropriating public money and questionable appointments.
Talking about the investigative committee tasked to look into the alleged anomalies in the Overseas Treatment Department, Al-Otaibi affirmed the committee has been working on these issues since the first day of its formation. He said the committee members traveled to America, Britain, Germany and France to investigate the health offices there; confirming discovery of financial and administrative violations in the health offices in France and Germany. He added they are still waiting for the reports of committee members who visited the health offices in America and Britain.
Meanwhile, MP Majid Al-Mutairi has forwarded questions to Minister of Oil, Electricity and Water Essam Al-Marzouq about Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) Hospital. He wants to know the cost of establishing, completing and maintaining the hospital; maintenance period and observations during this period; date of completing construction and maintenance of the new hospital; reasons for extending the contract; reasons behind the delayed hand over of the building; and fine imposed on the contractor due to the delay if any.
He said the capacity of the old hospital is 209 beds and that of the new hospital is only 300 beds so he wondered why the government spent a huge amount for the construction of the new hospital considering the small difference in the capacities of the old and new hospitals. He argued it would have been better and cost effective if the government worked on the expansion of the old hospital rather than building a new one. He also asked about the value of the contract for the construction of houses for KOC employees, duration of the contract and other relevant information. He wants to know as well the causes of holes in the foundations of these houses during the recent rainfall and if the cost of the damage was deducted from the contractor’s account.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff