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Tuesday , February 18 2020

NEUTRAL ZONE OIL PACT BETWEEN KUWAIT AND SAUDI ARABIA SAID TO NEED ASSEMBLY NOD

Bill hikes state investment oversight

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 30: In light of the recent agreement between the State of Kuwait and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for demarcation of the neutral zone’s borders and resumption of oil production, MP Riyadh Al- Adsani asserted the importance of taking advantage of this agreement for increasing oil production and achieving the relevant goals specified in the state development plan.

He affirmed that the brotherly relations between the two countries is highly valued, but the agreement must be presented to the National Assembly in accordance to the State Constitution. Al-Adsani said, “Despite the suspension of oil production in this area for years, the country did not suffer any financial downfall because other refineries were compensating, according to the final accounts.

However, this does not mean there were no indirect costs that could have been put to use in other areas”. In another development, MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri submitted a bill aimed at bolstering parliamentary supervision over state investments by amending Parliament’s internal regulations and the public funds protection law.

In his bill, the MP proposed amendment of Law No. 12/1963 related to internal parliamentary regulations, by adding a clause that stipulates the Parliament’s Committee for Protection of Public Funds will have five members who will bear the responsibility of reviewing the state investment reports that are prepared and submitted by the head of the State Audit Bureau in accordance to the public funds protection Law No. 1/1993.

The bill also states that Article 7 of Law No. 1/1993 will be completely changed to stipulate that all authorities mentioned in Article 2 of the law and invest sums larger than KD 100,000 inside or outside the country are obligated to provide the concerned minister annually with a comprehensive report concerning the statuses of their investments within three months after the end of the fiscal year or within the fiscal year in cases where the years are not in conformity with that of the state’s.

In turn, the concerned minister is obligated to share this report with the head of the State Audit Bureau within a month and promptly address the concerns and notifications of the bureau regarding the report. The head of the bureau is also obligated to submit this report to the National Assembly Speaker along with its concerns and notifications with two months of receiving it.

Meanwhile, MP Askar Al-Enezi submitted a proposal for the creation of a database of the records of all the patients in various public hospitals and medical centers. He suggested that the file of every patient must be electronically linked to their telephone number, affirming that this move will save time and ensure better service.

Also, the Deputy National Assembly Speaker MP Essa Al-Kandari submitted a proposal for increasing the categories of citizens included in the social security system along with the retirees. He said the National Assembly should request the government to assign Minister of Health for issuing a decision to specify the additional categories including housewives, as per Article 2 of Law No. 114/2014 and Articles 7, 8, 11 and 29 of the Constitution.

Furthermore, Rapporteur of the Parliament’s Priorities Committee MP Osama Al-Shaheen stated in a press release that the committee met on Sunday, Dec 29 to follow up the decision of the National Assembly to expedite discussions on a number of bills and popular proposals. He explained that the priority will be for four urgent bills which are already included in the agenda of the National Assembly.

These four bills are for reducing the monthly installments of retirees’ loans, amending the law for replacement of pension in order to reduce the high interests collected from retirees, amending the law related to partnership between public and private sectors in order to support the traditional markets, and amending the law of General Investigations Department.

Al-Shaheen revealed that it came as a surprise when the government dismissed the significance of these four bills, as it did not consider them as priority and is planning to vote against them if they are discussed by the National Assembly.

He stressed that this stance contradicts the previous stance of the government when it approved the bills while they were with the relevant parliamentary committees, indicating that this attitude of the government implies the lack of cooperation with the National Assembly.

Al-Shaheen said the committee received letters from nine MPs, each of who considered these bills as priority, adding that six of these letters stated the amendment of the elections’ law as priority.

In addition, MP Muhammad Al-Dallal revealed in a press release about the meeting held by the committee tasked by the National Assembly to investigate the death of Kuwait citizen Ahmed Al-Dhefairi in a detention center at Ministry of Interior. He said the three-member committee agreed to have Al-Dallal as the head of the committee, MP Dr Adel Al-Damkhi as the rapporteur and MP Naif Mirdas Al-Ajmi as a member.

Al-Dallal explained that the committee agreed to meet next week, and Al-Dhefairi’s family members or their legal representatives will be invited to this meeting in order to hear their point of view.

The committee is planning to ask for information about Al-Dhefairi’s criminal record and a copy of the relevant medical report. It will summon Minister of Interior and senior officials of the ministry in the coming meetings, as well as relevant officials of Ministry of Health, General Department of Forensic Medicine, and Criminal Investigations Department, along with members of the neutral committee. Al-Dallal affirmed that all MPs are welcome to attend the meetings of the committee and participate in the discussions.

By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb and Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff

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