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Saturday , August 8 2020

Take their cars, MP says in petrol tug-of-war

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 6: MP Saleh Ashour has called for withdrawal of cars granted to ministers, MPs and other State officials in solidarity with the citizens on the issue of lifting petrol subsidies.

The lawmaker pointed out that if the government does not rescind its decision to increase the prices of gasoline, the National Assembly will work towards restoring the previous prices especially since the decision did not solve the budget deficit.

He alleged the State budget deficit they have been talking about is not real, claiming the deficit is just on paper and the revenue that will be generated by lifting subsidies on gasoline is of no value to the ‘paper deficit’. He argued the gasoline price hike has negatively affected the citizens and expatriate workforce, indicating this will also reflect negatively on the prices of goods and services. He said the government will not be able to control the prices and this started with the implementation of the decision to increase fuel prices.

Meanwhile, MP Ahmed Al-Qudaibi said the plan of some lawmakers to grill certain members of the government seems unreal, as they are merely stating their stand on issues; indicating this is normal because the election is fast approaching. He explained that the election season usually begins with statements on the interpellation of ministers, claiming some MPs are keen on participating in the next election with a bag of interpellation motions to show the voters that they carried out their accountability and supervision duties.

He expects a clash between the Parliament and the government in the coming period, considering the developments in the last legislative session. He said the irregularities and corruption, which some lawmakers are claiming to be the points of their grilling requests, are old issues so he finds it strange that some MPs are threatening to grill ministers on these points although they did not support previous interpellation motions in this regard. He argued a lawmaker keen on holding erring ministers accountable would have presented grilling motions in the second or third year of the current Parliament’s term rather than waiting until the end of the term or the election season.

In another development, MP Faisal Al- Kandari said the announcement of one of his colleagues on the collection of signatures to hold an emergency meeting after the Eid Al-Adha holidays to discuss the gasoline price hike is nothing but an attempt to protect the government from accountability. On Twitter, Al-Kandari posted a statement: “The period of understanding and negotiations on this subject ended when the government approved the gasoline price hike causing harm to citizens.”

He stressed the need to move towards the next step — questioning or grilling, unless the government reverses its decision or comply with what was agreed upon during the parliamentary Financial Affairs Committee meeting in February. He added the government must be held accountable while protecting the interests of the people is an honor for those who shoulder this responsibility

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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