SINCE review is beneficial, and those fishing in troubled waters should not take it as an excuse to say that, in dealing with the issue of loans, as we mentioned earlier, social injustice, waste of public money, violation of the rights of future generations and other allegations, which I fear is intended to create a rift between the people and the political leadership, are among the calls to reject any solutions to people’s issues, such as the northern oil fields, the “Dhow”, and other economic and social projects that have been aborted by that group. That is why we go back and repeat – Those who borrowed did not have any problem with repayment, and likewise those who lent them were reassured that they would recover the debts. However, the economic and financial conditions led to them defaulting. Here I am not talking about huge commercial debts, but rather simple consumer loans, which led to a lot of social problems for Kuwaiti families.
O our pleasant ruler, the honest Crown Prince, and clean-headed Prime Minister, those who express an opinion contrary to the desire of a large segment of Kuwaitis, and those who are creatively abusing about 120,000 Kuwaitis and their families, do not portray the matter realistically. They exaggerate the issue in order to prove their claims are correct, but the simple solution does not impose any burden on the state. It is to agree with the banks to drop or reduce the interest on loans, and to guarantee the principal of the debt as well as reschedule it for over 20 or 30 years, just like the housing and land loan.
If it did so, it would ensure that the citizens pay off the debts in small amounts from their salaries and reduce the social problems arising from that, in addition to alleviating the judiciary which is overcrowded with litigants for very small amounts.
As for creditors, they should pay attention to the fact that a new law has been passed. We are talking about the bankruptcy law, which will protect the debtor and prevent him from being imprisoned or selling his house at auction, or even from traveling. Commercial debts have their exits in this law, and thus they must act in line with the proverb – “For the wolf not to die and the sheep not to perish”. They must deal with the issue consciously, so that they do not lose everything and lose their debts.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries rushed to cushion its effects on their people. Here is the US Congress approving for the second time a huge stimulus support package, and granting every citizen $ 2,000, which has been increased from $1,200. Most of the Gulf countries approved credit facilities for citizens, and some loans were written off, while others were reduced.
Unfortunately, in Kuwait, the treatment is completely contrary; it is neither scientific nor practical, but imaginative.
When we look at the conditions set in regard to the insolvency fund, it is clear that they were not set to serve the intended objective, which was to cushion the negative effects of the COVID-19 crisis. They were impossible conditions that no citizen could bear, which is what led to a widening of the economic and financial deficit.
I say from my position as an observer and writer that I fear the goal of those who oppose the resolution of this simple issue is one of the methods of conspiring against the country’s ruling system – by separating the people and the leadership, and increasing the level of discontent.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times