‘Serious law violations discovered in deal’
KUWAIT CITY, April 18: Member of the Parliamentary Committee for Public Funds Protection MP Khalid Al-Shatti disclosed the committee agreed during its Monday meeting to refer three files to the Public Prosecution. The files in question included a deal signed by Kuwait Oil Company and Shell Petroleum, in addition to the sale of Kuwait Driving Training Company and Agricultural Products Company by Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA). The committee said the authority should not have sold such profitable companies. It decided to refer the cases after establishing serious law violations and the authority persisted on going ahead with the deal under the guise of privatization to cover budget deficit.
Sources noted the committee referred the files to prosecution and authorized investigation of officials whose names were mentioned as active players in the deals. He declared the government had earlier informed the committee during several meetings of its plan to go ahead with the sale of some companies it invested over 50 percent capital publicly, against the recommendation of Parliament.
They said the government is not ready to back down on its decision to sell off some companies through subscription or public auction, which is expected to contribute over one billion dollars to the government coffers.
They added the government has indicated the decision to convert public shares to private sector as a measure to consolidate its role and reduce government’s control on economic activities. However, the committee disagreed on toeing that line, supposing it was more appropriate to take realistic steps to protect public funds. The committee is of the opinion that it was wrong to sacrifice government investments for the sake of some opportunists in the name of privatization or executing economic reform policy.
By Raed Yousef Al-Seyassah Staff