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Need to exclude citizens with low income from rationalization: MP – Austerity measures must not hurt pockets of nationals

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KUWAIT CITY, Aug 3: MP Ali Al-Daqbasi has stressed the need to exclude citizens with low and medium income from rationalization and austerity measures in the future.

He pointed out that touching the pockets of ordinary citizens is unacceptable and will not win parliamentary support, reiterating his refusal to talk about the distribution of petrol coupons to citizens.

He said everyone supports the government’s desire to boost the economy and the budget in view of the oil price decline, but austerity measures should be away from the pockets of citizens.

He asserted the government is aware of the excessive wastage in its sectors and institutions. He urged the government to start collecting dues and stop the payment of millions into areas which are unnecessary, indicating the reports of the State Audit Bureau and Budget Committee are full of comments on irregularities which the government must avoid to obtain support for its budgetary approach.

He explained he is against granting fuel subsidy coupons to citizens, stressing that the first step is to restore the previous prices because last year’s increase was improbable, unstudied and unacceptable; noting that neighboring countries reduced the price of fuel while Kuwait did the opposite.

Meanwhile, MP Abdulkareem Al-Kandari has forwarded questions to Education and Higher Education Minister Mohammed Al-Faris about Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS). He said KFAS has substantial funds collected through the taxable contributions of companies for scientific and cultural activities — the main purpose of establishing the foundation.

He wants to know value of the funds, assets owned by KFAS, and the investment map for these funds and assets. He asked if Kuwait Investment Authority or any other government agency or a private company has invested the funds and assets of KFAS. If yes, he wants to know date of investment and legal basis for KFAS to assign these entities to invest its funds and assets.

He also inquired if KFAS has laid down an annual plan (short or long-term). If yes, me he requested for a copy of the plan.

He asked as well about the amount spent by KFAS on scientific and cultural activities in the last five years; including contributions, prizes, sponsorships and financial support for these activities in 2016 and 2017 until the date of responding to his queries.

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim

Arab Times Staff