KUWAIT CITY, Feb 22: The parliamentary Priorities Committee on Wednesday met with government representatives including State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammed Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah, Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Hind Al-Sabeeh, and Minister of Justice and State Minister for National Assembly Affairs Faleh Al-Azeb.
According to committee member MP Mohammed Al-Dalal, they discussed the agenda for the session on March 7, 2017 and another session two weeks later. He said they agreed, in principle, to include in the agenda the proposal to amend the Juvenile law, Abdullah Bay issue (Iraqi demonstrations) and government’s work program.
He explained the citizenship and election bills were supposed to be discussed on Feb 28, 2017 but deliberations were postponed until the March 7 session. He confirmed the committee is putting pressure on its interior and defense counterpart to complete the report on these bills.
In another development, MP Riyadh Al-Adsani stressed the need to push for approval of the Conflict of Interest Bill, address the price hike issue, and present the economic reform document without affecting the citizens’ pockets, citizenship cancellation and housing.
He also unveiled his plan to request for a special session to look into the procedures taken by the housing affairs minister, warning that he will grill the minister if the latter fails to take the necessary action within the specified period. He clarified that although he commended the efforts exerted by the minister, the latter must do more. “When I gave the minister a chance to suspend my grilling request against him, I assured him that I will follow up his actions,” the lawmaker added. On controlling prices, Al-Adsani revealed he has forwarded questions to the minister of commerce and industry, particularly the ministry’s role in controlling prices. He said the minister requested for more time to prepare his response.
Moreover, MP Yusuf Al-Fadalah pointed out that since the campaign period, he has been talking about wastage of public money in the Ministry of Health and his first parliamentary question was about this issue. He said HH the Prime Minister must respond to the question and hold accountable all officials proven to be involved in corruption. He alleged that KD750 million disappeared from the ministry, yet no one has been held responsible. He then vowed to go as far as he can in combating corruption. He said he obtained a copy of the State Audit Bureau’s report on the purported corruption in the Health Ministry, adding that some members of the Parliament and several other people have been implicated in the overseas treatment issue.
He asserted, “I do not blame those claiming that grilling requests are being used as bargaining tools due to the dishonesty of certain lawmakers.” He said he is not affiliated with any political bloc and his plan to grill the prime minister is not aimed at pushing for completion of transactions or receiving favors. He alleged some influential figures are trying to protect those involved in corruption, citing information he got that the health minister has submitted certain names to hold them accountable but his demand was rejected and there have been attempts to stop him from taking such a step.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff