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In October 2021, the Council of Ministers sent a letter to the head of the Government Performance Follow-up Agency, requesting him to assign the Kuwait Investment Authority to study the feasibility of establishing a closed government company to establish, manage and operate public storage areas for foodstuffs, medicines, and others, and to provide the agency with a response within 6 months.
Sixteen months have passed since the above decision, and there is no indication on the horizon that there is an intention or decision to establish a company or companies that provide the market’s urgent needs for storage areas.
Instead, Agility was demanded to vacate its warehouses and hand them over to the Public Authority for Industry, so that the government can replace the company and collect the rent difference for itself, instead of Agility, which manages these spaces with valid legal contracts.
That is why we have seen that government agencies recently becoming reluctant to move, restrain the company and remove stores from its management, after its legal and administrative sources informed them that the Industry Authority court rulings might be issued against it in the future because of its arbitrary implementation of eviction orders, and it may have to pay millions of dinars to the company, in the form of compensation
We all know that the government can do whatever it wants, if it “desires”, but we are not accustomed to this cruelty and arbitrariness of our governments in implementing orders, which are more aware than others of their illegality.
We repeat that the government has tens of millions of meters of unexploited land suitable for various uses, and it can either offer it for sale, or hand it over to companies to make it usable, while building all services, using the BOT system, or establishing joint stock or government companies to manage it in a win-win commercial manner.
In conclusion, until now, 60 years after the promulgation of the constitution, we do not know whether we are a socialist or a capitalist country? Is the trade managed by the public or private sector?
It is funny to repeat the saying that the government is with the welfare of the citizen, and with the encouragement of the private sector, but often things do not seem to be moving in this direction.
Raising the rents of state property, which we have always called for, is too high and beyond the capacity of many, and they will benefit from the pocket of the citizen or the consumer, or the beneficiary of the service, by raising the prices of every material and service.
Also, the government recently reduced the profit rate for drug importers by 5%, at the same time it raised the rents of state property, and the Central Bank raised the discount rate by half a percent.
I am not against these measures but they clearly show that we are a nation of whims and moods, and not following the path of integrated economic plan.
By Ahmad alsarraf