KUWAIT CITY, June 22: MP Dr Adel Al-Damkhi forwarded queries to Minister of Health Sheikh Dr Bassel Al-Sabah about the report published in a local daily newspaper that a number of doctors were interrogated and then reshuffled after criticizing the measures taken by the ministry to deal with the coronavirus crisis.
On the other hand, MP Khalid Al-Otaibi forwarded queries to Minister of Commerce and Industry Khalid Al-Rawdan about the increasing prices of commodities and lack of control despite the minister’s promises to do so.
Al-Otaibi said the coronavirus crisis exposed the weakness of the ministry’s price monitoring system, particularly the absence of price control in foodstuff markets. He wants to know if the ministry has records of inflation that these markets witnessed in the last few months and steps taken by the ministry to activate Consumer Protection Law No. 39/2015.
He pointed out the Ministry of Commerce and Industry surprisingly issued Decision No. 79/2020 on increasing meat prices without giving any justification. He disclosed the markets increased the prices further at a time the ministry’s monitoring is absent.
He also asked about the reasons behind the dramatic increase in the prices of imported fish, number of violations registered by the inspectors of the ministry, and number of price manipulation cases referred to the Public Prosecution. He added the ministry should have expanded the list of subsidized foodstuff to include the most needed commodities. Instead, the ministry included unnecessary commodities like burger and skinned shrimps, so he wants to know the rationale behind such step. He requested for copies of the relevant contracts signed by the ministry and the suppliers, as well as the lists of prices of commodities added to the subsidized foodstuff before and after being subsidized.
He also forwarded the complaint of Kuwaiti farmers about the negative response of the ministry to their proposals to supply cooperative societies with their produce. He said the farmers were forced to sell their produce at prices lower than the amount that consumers usually pay.
In another development, MP Riyadh Al-Adasani revealed that he pointed out the negative impact of Malaysian fund – 1MDB – on the national economy during the grilling of Finance Minister Barrak Al-Shitan.
He added the response of Al-Shitan to his question about the reason for referring an incomplete 1MDB file to the Public Prosecution entails the minister should be held responsible. He disclosed the minister justified such step, stating that he did not see the file referred to the prosecution because the relevant institution is autonomous.
He asserted this answer is unacceptable as Al-Shitan bears political responsibility considering the institution is affiliated to the Ministry of Finance. He intends to include this issue in the next grilling motion that he will submit against Al-Shitan. He asked about the number of doctors who were punished, their names and positions, in addition to the legal basis for punishing them.
By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff