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Wednesday , March 22 2023

Govt ‘lacks capacity’ to execute metro, railway projects: Minister

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KUWAIT CITY, Aug 26: Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, Planning and Development Hind Al-Subaih disclosed that private sector is more capable of executing major projects, as government lacks the capacity of private sector in executing the metro and railway projects.

Responding to a parliamentary question by MP Saleh Al-Ashour concerning proposal of the Secretariat of Supreme Council for Planning and Development to withdraw the metro and railway projects from the Ministry of Transport, and transfer the project to Public Private Partnership (PPP), the minister explained the implementation of such major projects necessitate flexibility and high technical capabilities for smooth execution and operation.

She noted such capabilities could only be found in private sector due to acute decline in oil prices globally in recent times and high cost of the two projects that will exhaust public funds. Al-Subaih mentioned that Kuwait applies partnership system in the execution of major projects since the system prevails in advanced countries and has proven its worthiness in saving money, besides high competency in the implementation of projects.

She pointed out that “it has become more necessary now to reduce financial burden on the country if it was necessary in the past, due to the declining prices of oil, although implementation of the projects remain necessary”.

She stressed the execution of the metro and railway project has been reviewed, and the authority responsible for evaluating risks during the feasibility study opted for B.O.T. system, noting the system stimulates other economic sectors that play major roles in partnership projects, considering the two projects need high technical expertise to implement. She reiterated projects executed under the partnership system draws privileges for the State through expansion of the capital base and providing job opportunities for citizens through projects. It also creates opportunities for citizens to work in private sector while receiving training from experts in transportation field to aid in other projects.

By Abdulrahman Al-Shimmari Al-Seyassah Staff

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