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Your Highness Crown Prince … Take hold of ‘Project Fund’ which benefits those in charge and an injustice to the youth

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WE see a sign of hope that continues to indicate that Kuwait is regaining its strength and everything it had lost in the past years in the shadow of the Councils of Ministers that floundered until the state almost lost its resilience.

The same applies to the parliaments whose members have become ferocious to the point of dominating even the smiles of the people.

Yes, Your Highness the Crown Prince and the Deputy Amir, this was our reality before the strict measures you ordered started being implemented steadily.

As the custodian of the nation, with a vision for a new Kuwait comparable in development to its counterparts in the Gulf and even the world, and with clear and explicit directives to His Highness the Prime Minister to work day and night to rid the country of the clutches of corruption that had made the people lose hope, a bright light has appeared through the bold decisions you issued that are being implemented immediately.

Today, it is necessary to dwell on a very important matter related to a good segment of the Kuwaiti youth, who believed in their homeland and worked to contribute to its economic movement.

I am talking about the owners of small projects who must be under the care of His Highness the active Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Nawaf. He is the heart of citizens, and indeed all Gulf citizens, and there is a lot of reassurance from his continuous tours of state institutions, which we hope will continue.

Your Highness the Crown Prince, the National Fund for Small and Medium Enterprises Development was established to assist young people in launching their projects. Unfortunately, despite the huge capital allocated to it, the fund has fallen into the prohibition of manipulation, not from loan applicants, but from those in charge of it, who spent a lot of its money to buy luxury cars, suits and mobile phones, and travel abroad.

On the other hand, instead of bailing out the youth, its officials created a complex documentary cycle and procedures that amounted to incapacitating them. Yet the youth accepted to borrow after a great effort, without sparing their time and effort in that, and established their projects.

Suddenly, the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world including Kuwait, and caused a lot of losses to the local economy. Of course, these young people were the first victims, and they found themselves facing the courts to which the fund referred cases in bulk.

They had no choice but to go to prison, be prevented from traveling, or pay even by borrowing. Some were forced to migrate to neighboring countries, such as Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, and Qatar, where they received great care and facilities for their projects, which they transferred from Kuwait.

Here, they were treated as thieves, and not national entrepreneurs with vision. Even if there were some mistakes in their projects or manipulation, many of them sought to work hard and actively. However, the epidemiological conditions and the prosecutions of the fund made them lose faith in their country, and perhaps any initiative in the future.

Your Highness the Crown Prince, one of the elements of justice is making it a tangible and visible reality, giving everyone his due, providing relief to the afflicted, and helping those in need, as a state cannot reform itself if it does not engage its youth, support them to face life, and facilitate for them the means of success.

So if your Highness visited some markets in Kuwait including Mubarakiya, you would see with your own eyes the number of closed shops, all belonging to small business owners. This is a great injustice to this segment, which is the hope of the future.

Hence, you must look at these people, and encourage them to return to their projects. Release those who are imprisoned, and lift the travel ban on them so that they can work and restore their confidence to take the initiative again.

The youths are the mainstay for reviving the national economy, if they are given the opportunity without police pursuits. All of this must accompany the reform of the fund in order to avoid injustice.

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times