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Sunday , September 26 2021

Bill suggests write-off of interest on citizen loans

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 23: The parliamentary Response to Amiri Speech Committee on Wednesday elected MP Saadoun Hammad as chairperson and MP Dr Saleh Zeiab Al Mutairi as rapporteur. In addition, MP Ahmed Muhammad Al-Hamad was elected chairperson of the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee and MP Hamad Said Al-Harshanias rapporteur; while MP Farz Al-Daihani was elected chairperson of the Housing Affairs Committee.

In a press statement after the Response to Amiri Speech Committee meeting, MP Saadoun Hammad disclosed that he met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Thamer Ali Al-Sabah during which he asked the minister to expedite the promotion of non-commissioned officers who hold secondary school certificates, have been in service for 15 years and are highly qualified to the rank of lieutenant.

He pointed out these officers must undergo the necessary training course prior to their promotion. Hammad also disclosed that he submitted a bill on writing off the interest of citizens’ loans. He suggested the State will buy these loans from the banks, so the interest will be waived. The debtors will then pay the net loan amount (without interest) in installments for 25 years and the amount of installment should not exceed 25 percent of the basic salary, he added.

Meanwhile, MP Dr Saleh Zeiab Al- Mutairi has forwarded queries to the following ministers about the comments of the State Audit Bureau (SAB) regarding their respective ministries: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Hamad Jaber Al-Ali Al-Sabah, Minister of Interior Thamer Ali Sabah Al-Salem, Minister of Oil, Electricity and Water Dr Muhammad Abdullatif Al-Fares, Minister of Health Dr Basel Al-Sabah, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Ahmed Nasser Al- Muhammad, Minister of Public Works and State Minister for Municipal Affairs Dr Rana Al-Fares, State Minister for National Assembly Affairs Mubarak Al-Harees, Minister of Finance Khalifa Musaed Hamada, Minister of Information and State Minister for Youth Affairs Abdulrahman Al-Mutairi, Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh, State Minister for Housing and Services Affairs Abdullah Marafi, Minister of Commerce and Industry and State Minister for Economic Affairs Faisal Al Medlej, Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Ali Fahd Al-Mudaf, and Minister of Justice Dr Nawaf Soud Al-Yasseen. Al-Mutairi wants to know if these ministries have responded to the comments of SAB, steps taken in this regard, investigations conducted and cases referred to the Public Prosecution due to violations recorded by SAB.

In another development, Al-Mutairi criticized the way the government voted for members of parliamentary committees. He pointed out that the government voted for MPs known for being frequently absent in the meetings of committees in the 2016 Parliament. He said one of the MPs that the government voted for was a member of three committees in the previous legislature. He disclosed this MP was absent in 14 out 15 meetings of one committee, three out of five meetings of the other committee, and 21 out of 31 meetings of the third committee.

Furthermore, MP Dr Ali Al-Qattan submitted a bill on increasing the pension of retirees to help them cope with inflation and the rising cost of living. He said the amount of increment will depend on the reports of Kuwait Central Statistical Bureau. MPs Osama Al-Menawer, Hesham Al- Saleh, Muhammad Obaid Al-Rajhi, Hassan Jawhar and Shuaib Al-Muwaizri have proposed the establishment of a fund for compensating the victims of real estate fraud. According to the proposal, the budget for this fund will be taken from the Public Reserve Fund. It stipulates granting the victims 80 percent of the compensation amount specified in the final court ruling, while the remaining 20 percent will be paid once the verdict issued against those who committed fraud is implemented.

The finance minister shall supervise the fund, which will consist of two committees. The task of one of these committees, which will have three members, is to receive complaints. The finance minister will form the other committee that will specify the amount of compensation based on the documents presented by the victims. MP Osama Al-Menawer submitted a bill on adding female retirees to the health insurance program ‘Afia’ as well as the male retirees who are not covered by the program. He pointed out that the relevant law allows the health minister to add new categories to the beneficiaries of‘Afia’. On his meeting with Public Authority for Handicapped Affairs (PAHA) Director Dr Shafiqa Al-Awadi, Al-Menawer disclosed that he accompanied a female doctor whose expertise is on people with special needsand she applied for permit to establish a school for special needs students.

By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff

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