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Call to ‘privatize’ KPTC as part of austerity measures – MP warns govt on abetting corruption

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By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff KUWAIT CITY, Dec 8: MP Nabil Al-Fadel has forwarded queries to Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance and acting Oil Minister Anas Al-Saleh about the privatization of Kuwait Public Transport Company (KPTC).

He said the worsening economic situation caused by the sharp oil price decline which, by far, is the lowest has prompted the Council of Ministers to take austerity measures such as limiting expenditures. He pointed out one of the priorities now is to stop unnecessary expenses rather than putting the responsibility on the shoulders of citizens. He disclosed the Council of Ministers took decision number 1119 in its meeting number 51/2002 on Nov 10, 2002 regarding the privatization of KPTC which is wholly owned by Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA); so he requested for the following:

■ Balance sheets from 2002 to 2014

■ Statement of profit and annual loss from 2002 to 2014

■ Total amount that KIA put into KPTC from 2002 until the date of submitting the queries

■ Reasons behind KIA’s failure to implement the decision of the Council of Ministers for more than 13 years.

Meanwhile, MP Ahmad Al-Qudaibi has warned about the purported government plot to get rid of the Anti- Corruption Public Authority. He said the government’s delay in submitting amendments to the Anti-Corruption Law may be linked to the day the Constitutional Court is expected to announce its ruling on the request to verify the constitutionality of the law. He affirmed the authority submitted the amendments to the law to Minister of Justice, Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Yacoub Al-Sane about four months ago and the minister referred it to the Fatwa and Legislation Department yet the latter has yet to complete its report on the law.

He wondered why it is taking too long for the department to carry out its task considering there are only few amendments. He added the one-year grace period given to State officials to submit their statements of assets and liabilities will end in March. “It seems someone is hoping the Constitutional Court declares the law unconstitutional to avoid submission of the declaration of assets and liabilities,” he said. The lawmaker also accused some ministers of not cooperating with the authority. On a related issue, the authority referred 43 people for investigation for their alleged failure to submit their financial statements on time.

Head of the authority Abdul-Rahman Namsh Al- Namsh confirmed these people were referred to the General Investigation Department for legal action. He said the authority has taken legal procedures to strictly implement regulations on the submission of financial statements. He added the authority provides assistance to all those covered by the law through its website, hotline and headquarters.

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