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MPs laud Amir-ordered cut to Diwan budget – Others should follow

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 18: Lawmakers have lauded the directive issued by HH the Amir Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to reduce the budget of the Amiri Diwan, calling on all ministries and other government institutions to follow in the footsteps of the Amir considering the current economic situation.

MP Kamel Al-Awadhi said the Amir has instructed HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah to take the necessary steps in rationalizing the budget of the Amiri Diwan. He asserted the Amir always puts the interests of Kuwait on top of his priorities.

He hopes this policy on rationalizing expenditures will be implemented in all ministries and government institutions, stating this has become inevitable due to the continuous oil price decline and deterioration of trading in the global market.

MP Askar Al-Anazi affi rmed the Amir decided to rationalize expenditures of the Amiri Diwan without any negative impact on citizens. He urged the ministries and other government institutions to take the same step, provided it does not affect the citizens, especially those with limited income. MP Talal Al-Jallal asked the government to submit a report on the rationalization of expenditures to the Parliament. He stressed the need for the country to avoid unnecessary expenditures, while the Ministry of Finance should activate its role in preventing such expenses. He reiterated his objection to any governmental decision targeting the pockets of ordinary citizens. In the meantime, MP Askar Al-Anazi presented a draft bill on granting citizenship to 4,000 eligible applicants this year, in line with clause three of Article Five of Nationality Law number 15/1959.

On another issue, MP Abdul-Rahman Al-Jeeran has requested for the allocation of two hours of the session slated for Jan 26 to discuss the measures that the government has taken or intends to take for the country to overcome economic challenges. He explained he presented the request due to the current economic and security conditions in the world, citing the low oil price and sudden decline of the stock market. In another development, MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji underscored the importance of reviewing decrees which caused political and legal embarrassment to governmental bodies. He warned that failure to address the issue will negatively affect the Constitution, the legal system and the entire country.

He pointed out the government has numerous legal bodies, such as the Fatwa and Legislation Department which acts as its lawyer and the Legal Committee in the Cabinet, in addition to a large number of legal consultants and advisors, yet the issue remains unsolved and mistakes keep on recurring. He said the most recent examples are the cancellation of the Public Anti-Corruption Authority and dissolution of the 2012 Parliament. He lamented the government did not take appropriate action in both cases. This has prompted the lawmaker to forward queries to State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammed Al- Abdullah on the policy in issuing a legislative decree. He wants to know which departments are in charge of validation, technical review and legal process.

Due to the large number of legal experts and advisors working in the sectors mentioned above, the MP wants to know how many are non-Kuwaitis, their names, qualifi cations and work description. On the legal errors that led to the dissolution of parliaments, the MP asked if the government has acted on any of these cases. If so, he wants to know what steps have been taken and if those responsible were interrogated or subjected to disciplinary action. He also asked about those tasked to formulate the legislative decree on the Public Anti-Corruption Authority, their names, nationalities and qualifi cations.

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim and Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff

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