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MP voices objection to rise in water, power charges

KUWAIT CITY, March 31: MP Ahmed Al-Azmi has voiced objection to the government’s proposal to increase water and electricity charges, asserting this is not the right solution to the budget defi cit especially since it is deemed harmful to citizens and expatriates.

Indicating the proposed charges are four times higher than the current fees, Al-Azmi expressed disappointment because the government has been presenting improper and biased solutions to the budget defi cit.

He said, “We have yet to see plausible, long-term and realistic solutions. We suggested many solutions in previous statements but the government seems keen on addressing the issue at the expense of citizens whose pockets will be affected once the proposal is implemented.”

Meanwhile, MP Hamoud Al-Hamdan has forwarded questions to Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Bader Al-Essa on the ‘World Day of Culture’ concert held recently at the Arab Open University regarding the alleged inclusion of inappropriate activities and presentations like dancing. He asked for details such as the organizer of the event, official who approved the event, list of activities and performances, educational relevance of the event, its objective, targeted audience or participants and measures taken against those who committed violations if any.

He also requested for a copy of the decision on the establishment of the university and conditions set by the ministry in granting the license to determine if the organizers of the concert complied with the rules and regulations.

On Wednesday the Parliament looked into the report of the Finance and Economic Affairs Committee about the Public Tenders Law and proposals of parliamentarians in this regard.

At the end of the discussion, the Parliament agreed to return the law to the committee for further deliberations on the proposed amendments and it should submit its report within two months. Committee Chairman MP Faisal Al-Shaya argued during the discussion that the bill has been pending since 2010.

He confirmed the proposed amendments are meant to address loopholes in the law in a bid to improve the public tenders system. Commenting on the bill, MP Yousef Al-Zalzala claimed the controversies and arguments about the law have been going on since 2010 but these are limited to the governmental circles, stressing the Parliament has never been part of such controversies and arguments.

He believes the revised law is still flawed and MPs should be prepared for a steady stream of amendments if the Assembly decides to pass the bill. He quoted the National Bank of Kuwait as saying that the Public Tenders Law in Kuwait is the worst and it lacks transparency regulations. He then urged the Assembly to study the law thoroughly as it is illogical to ratify the revised version considering the loopholes.

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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