MP warns on price hikes

KUWAIT CITY, March 20: Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Essa Al- Kandari has submitted a parliamentary query to Minister of Commerce and Industry and acting Minister of State for Youth Affairs Khalid Al-Rawdan on price hikes of essential consumer goods and some services.

In his query Al-Kandari said of late food items and a lot of essential consumer goods have seen artificial price hikes, especially after the State raised the petrol prices. He said many companies and traders took this as an excuse to hike the prices and as result the citizen had to bear the burden. He noted Ramadan is just around the corner and as citizens and residents rush to meet the needs and requirement during this holy month, many traders and companies take advantage to raise the prices of commodities and some even monopolize the market.

One of the most prominent issues is the livestock. He wants to know what plans have been initiated by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to curb the phenomenon of price hikes of consumer goods and some services and what role the National Committee for Consumer Protection plays in this regard? He said the citizens feel abandoned by the government because they have become victims of some traders and companies who occasionally raise food prices. He wants to know if the Ministry is monitoring althese companies to see if they comply with the price structure. He also wants to know is anyone has until now been arrested for tampering and artificially raising the prices, and if so, how many people have been arrested and what action has been taken against them.

Meanwhile, MP Saadoun Hamad Al-Otaibi has presented to proposals on cancer and infertility treatment. In the first proposal, Al-Otaibi said that to remarkable increase in the number of patients suffering from cancer, based on local statistics issued by World Health Organization cancer is the second biggest killer disease in Kuwait after heart attacks. He called for creating a specialized global medical centre to treat all types of cancer cases employing world renowned medics on contract basis or periodic visits system.

The center should have modern state-of-the-art equipment to match the treatment available in the United States and Europe. Until the establishment of such a center, he said, the cancer patients should be able to travel abroad for medical treatment without the routine referral to the concerned committee. He also proposed the creation of a specialized research center to determine the causes of the significant spread of this disease in Kuwait and how to prevent and treat it.

On the second proposal, Al-Otaibi said due to the remarkable increase in cases of infertility and lack of specialized center for treatment of such cases in government hospitals patients continue to suffer. He said such people either resort to private hospitals and clinics or travel abroad to receive treatment where they may spend long periods and this puts strain on their pockets if they travel on their own or it puts a burden on the state treasury if the treatment is done abroad at the expense of the State. Therefore, Al-Otaibi proposed the establishment of an integrated specialized center to treat infertility.

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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