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Lawmakers focus on Health, road repair

KUWAIT CITY, March 20: The National Assembly allocated an hour of its ordinary session Wednesday to discuss the loose gravel issue. During the discussion, Minister of Public Works Jenan Boushehri explained the ministry took into consideration all recommendations and proposals; hence, the long delay in repairing roads. She affirmed the ministry has laid down a comprehensive plan for repairing the roads and it will be implemented soon.

On the completion period, the minister said the period has yet to be specified; asserting the concerned factories, engineers and laborers will be working in maximum capacity to ensure immediate completion.

She added those proven to be responsible for this issue were referred to the Public Authority for Anti-Corruption; while the engineers in charge of the construction and maintenance of affected roads and highways are currently being evaluated and this will be followed by investigation. The lawmakers voiced pleasure over the minister’s statement but they still expressed discontent due to the long delay as it is a manifestation of the incompetence of the government.

They called for imposing harsh punishment on those responsible and to demand for refund from contractors. Other MPs such as Osama Al- Shaheen expressed dissatisfaction because a country like Kuwait is discussing asphalt while other countries are discussing nuclear energy.

On the other hand, Minister of Health Dr Basel Al-Humoud responded to MP Adel Al-Damkhi’s query on public clinics. He affirmed that several new public clinics will be completed soon, indicating he issued a decree allowing citizens to visit any clinic within their governorate after official hours for the time being.

On the query of MP Abdulkareem Al-Kandari about the poor quality of healthcare in the country, the minister revealed that a request for additional budget is submitted every year to improve the healthcare sector; in addition to the arrival of a group of consulting doctors to assist in the development of the sector.

Furthermore, the Assembly rejected the Public Prosecution’s request to lift the immunity of MPs Shu’aib Al-Muwaizri and Khaled Al-Shatti despite the recommendation of the Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee in this regard. Minister of Public Works and State Minister of Housing Affairs Jenan Boushehri filed a case against Al-Muwaizri for posting a video clip on Twitter that the minister deemed offensive.

Even if the MP is confident enough to face the case, the Assembly still rejected the request to lift his immunity with 39 no votes and 11 yes votes.

Meanwhile, a food company filed a civil misdemeanor case against Al-Shatti for failure to settle outstanding bills. The Assembly rejected the motion to lift his immunity with 29 no votes and 12 yes votes.

By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff

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