KUWAIT CITY, Oct 9: MP Abdullah Al-Roumi has forwarded questions to Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance Anas Al-Saleh about the sale of Kuwait’s shares in the French company Areva. He cited the report of Al- Shall Consulting Company stating that Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) sold its 4.82 percent stake in Areva at 4.5 Euros per share, resulting in losses estimated at 517 million Euros. He requested for copies of the decisions of the Council of Ministers regarding the investment in Areva and contribution to the nuclear fuel bank. He wants to know if committees were formed to study the investment in Areva and contribution to the nuclear fuel bank. If the answer is ‘yes’, he demanded for the names of the members of these committees and copies of the minutes of their meetings. He also asked about the global consultant that advised KIA to invest in Areva, copy of the study carried out by the consultant, technical opinion of KIA on this study, updates on the investment in the nuclear fuel bank and other related information.
Meanwhile, MP Thamer Al-Suwait also submitted questions to the finance minister regarding the supervision of Islamic banks; particularly the processing of transactions in accordance with the Islamic Law. He inquired about the procedures followed to monitor transactions in Islamic banks, if the opinion of the Fatwa and Legislative Supervisory Board in the bank matters in monitoring transactions, if there have been objections to the opinion of the board on individual loans in Ahli United Bank (AUB), and if AUB paid the debts of customers who wish to transfer their accounts to the bank. He requested for copies of loan payment transactions from Jan 1, 2012 till date. He asked if the bank deducted commissions from suppliers by signing the special support form — a violation of the directives of the Fatwa and Legislative Supervisory Board in the bank. If yes, he requested for a list of violations, copies of activity support forms, and objections to opinions or decisions of the board from Jan 1, 2012 till date.
He wants to know if these commissions were included in the bank’s budget, their effect on the shareholders’ profits, if the concerned department monitored suspected money laundering transactions following the bank transfers issue, if there were transfers to AUB in the Kingdom of Bahrain that are considered a violation of laws and decisions of the Central Bank, if there were transfers to benefi- ciaries abroad by issuing checks sent through courier companies — a violation of the decisions and regulations of the Central Bank, names of institutions or companies accredited as main suppliers of the bank through which the currency transactions are handled, and value of these transactions. On the other hand, MP Majid Al- Mutairi pointed out that grilling is a positive parliamentary practice if it is in accordance with the Constitution and laws. He said grilling is part of the democratic practice so no one should point accusatory fingers to the MPs for performing their political accountability role. He added the MPs’ duties include listening to the statements of all parties involved in the interpellation before judging the performance of the concerned minister. He stressed no minister is exempted from accountability as stipulated in the Constitution, claiming that a Cabinet reshuffle or new ministerial formation is just an attempt to dodge interpellation.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff