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Sunday , January 24 2021

MP slams ministry for failure to control hike in goods rates – ‘KD 28,000 monthly salary and govt subsidy too’

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 24: MP Faisal Al-Kandari has criticized the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for its alleged failure to control prices of consumer goods, stressing the need for everyone to stand firm against the unjustified price hikes. He called for intensified efforts to control prices, especially since the Ministry of Finance is in the process of increasing the prices of State properties and this will have a negative impact on consumers in all fields. He pointed out the proposals of the ministry should include decisions to protect the rights of consumers.

He reiterated his objection to any attempt to undermine people with limited income and put pressure on them by increasing prices without any valid reason. He said the Finance Committee in the National Assembly is against the idea of increasing fees for public services, affirming the Ministry of Finance has been informed about the rejection of price hikes which negatively affect the low income earners. “In the Parliament, we always strive to protect the welfare of citizens rather than adding to their financial burdens,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, the Priorities Committee on Tuesday met the government team, including State Minister for National Assembly Affairs and Minister of Oil Ali Al- Omair and Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and State Minister for Planning and Development Hind Al- Sabeeh, to discuss the parliamentary agenda for the next session.

Committee Rapporteur MP Ahmad Lari revealed they looked into the government’s development plan for the 14th legislative term and there was an agreement to schedule meetings with government bodies to follow up the implementation of the development plan, adding that representatives from the Supreme Council for Planning will attend the meetings.

He confirmed the second meeting was set to tackle priorities for the next session, adding that the agenda of this session include the interpellation presented by MP Saadoun Hammad Al- Otaibi against Minister of Public Works, Electricity and Water Ahmed Al-Jassar. He said the interpellation will be included in the agenda, unless something comes up on the part of the government that might lead to the removal of the interpellation from the agenda. He went on to say among the items set for deliberation in the next session are reports of the committee tasked to investigate the Advantage Company and Dow Chemical, as well as the second reading of the Juvenile Draft Law.

He said the session will move to discuss agreements with GCC and Arab countries, such as the bill on the common law for anti-dumping, countervailing and preventive measures in GCC countries, in addition to the convention on correcting aircraft-related offenses. He clarified the Economic and Social Planning Draft Law is not part of the agenda, but the Assembly will discuss it if there is time. He affirmed National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim has referred laws ratified by the Parliament in the 14th legislative term to follow up with the government within one month. He disclosed the Parliament Secretariat has prepared a report on the laws passed by the legislature but has yet to be implemented by the government, indicating the report will be referred to the government once it is signed by the speaker on Wednesday

. In another development, MP Mansour Al-Zufairi has called on the State Audit Bureau to recommend suspension of proceedings related to the Kuwait International Airport tender due to the alleged irregularities. He said, “The bureau, as an active oversight arm of the National Assembly will not accept these blatant violations, considering the prestigious institution remains a ‘sword’ in combating corruption and in confronting all those involved in such an unscrupulous act.” He claimed the tender was passed outside the legal framework and this might lead to embezzlement of public funds. He said the Parliament supports the government’s efforts to achieve development goals that serve the interests of Kuwait and its people, but it will not tolerate theft and anomalies.

Meanwhile, Parliament’s Budgets and Final Accounts Committee revealed that some Kuwaiti employees of the private sector who earn monthly salaries of more than KD 28,000 receive the government subsidy for national personnel at the same time, reports Al-Rai daily. While discussing the final accounts of Civil Service Commission (CSC) for the fiscal year 2014/2015, the committee stressed the importance of periodically reviewing the policies applied to encourage Kuwaiti citizens to work in the private sector particularly since KD 495 million has been allotted in the current budget for supporting the national personnel in the private sector. It affirmed that it is not reasonable for employees who receive more than KD 28,000 a month to receive government subsidy also.

The committee commended CSC for its surveillance to ensure employees who benefit from the government subsidy are actually working in the private sector, in order to put an end to the phenomenon of fake employment. It stressed the need to activate the role of internal audit department in every government authority to control financial violations. Meanwhile, Parliament’s Human Resources Development Committee has submitted a legislative vision concerning the draft law on alternative strategy for salaries and career growth in all government authorities and institutions for increasing the salaries of 80 percent of the employees of the country.

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