MP calls for urgent government reform ahead of parliamentary session

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KUWAIT CITY, Oct 2: MP Mubarak Al-Tasha has called upon His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah to hasten in reforming the government before the start of the upcoming parliamentary term.

The lawmaker insisted that the Minister of Public Works Dr. Amani Buqamaz should be the first to be replaced, due to the delay in signing contracts related to road maintenance and the recent incident that resulted from the delay in the completion of the bridge construction on the Fifth Ring Road close to Grand Avenues.

MP Al-Tasha said every time a problem is discovered concerning the Ministry of Public Works, Dr. Buqamaz and her team rush to the media to promote fake achievements including the signing of road maintenance contracts.

He stressed that Dr. Buqamaz has been given enough time to make achievements but no progress has been accomplished until date.

Meanwhile, the parliament’s Committee for Environment, Food and Water Security Affairs held a meeting on Monday.

The Chairman of the committee MP Hamad Al-Matar disclosed that the discussions during the meeting focused on the health hazards of communication towers.

He explained that there are facts revealing that telecommunication companies are more powerful than the government. Kuwait has over 7,000 communication towers, and over 3000 of them are installed in residential areas including the rooftops of some private houses. This matter represents a major health hazard for citizens. Telecommunication companies give KD 3,000 per year to the owner of such houses, taking advantage of the private nature of these houses, as it is not easy to be inspected. They also get another advantage of the subsidised cost of electricity.

MP Al-Matar stressed that the Council of Ministers is the relevant institution because of the fact that the issue concerns several ministries and public institutions including the Communications and Information Technology Regulatory Authority (CITRA).

The lawmaker revealed that there are many other dangerous effects of communications towers, even those installed in open yards.

He explained that diesel is used to run these towers, and they sometimes leak into the soil, causing pollution to the underground water. According to the Environment Public Authority, 140 out of 164 towers are found to be violating environmental requirements.

The issue also has a security aspect as eight towers were discovered to not belong to any of the three telecommunication companies. This arouses suspicions about the reasons behind installing them, which were done so by unknown individuals or bodies for unknown purposes.

London, for example, is completely free of communications towers as part of the efforts to protect citizens’ health.

Al-Matar concluded by revealing that another meeting will be held to hear from the relevant institutions including Ministry of Health, Kuwait Municipality, CITRA and Environment Public Authority.

Furthermore, MP Hamdan Al-Azmi submitted parliamentary questions to the Minister of Commerce and Industry and the State Minister for Youth Affairs Muhammad Al-Aiban, asking if the ministry has issued any regulations to standardize the delivery charge collected by delivery platforms and applications. If so, he wanted to be provided with a copy of those regulations. If not, he wanted to know the reasons.

Al-Azmi asked if there is a defined maximum charge for delivery, and if the delivery platforms and applications are covered by the regulations that organize the delivery of orders from restaurants and coffee shops at a rate of 250 fils for delivery within the same area and 500 fils for the delivery outside the area.

In another development, MP Marzouq Al-Hebeini submitted parliamentary questions to the Minister of Public Works Dr. Amani Buqamaz, asking about the invitation sent by the ministry to a number of embassies in Kuwait to nominate road maintenance companies.

He said he wanted to know which embassies have been invited, the criteria adopted to choose those specific embassies, and if any of the invited embassies did not respond.

He asked to be provided with a copy of the minutes of the meetings held for this purpose.

Also, MP Saad Al-Khanfour submitted parliamentary questions to the Minister of Communications and the Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Abdulrahman Al-Mutairi, asking whether the construction of the building of the Institute of Islamic Studies and Quranic Sciences located in West Abdullah Al-Mubarak has been completed and handed over to the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs. He asked for the plan of the ministry to enhance Islamic education to the residents of Abdullah Al-Mubarak area.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly Speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun sent a cable to the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Nigeria Tajuddin Abbas and the President of the Senate of Nigeria Godswill Akpabio to congratulate them on the National Day of Nigeria.

In another development, MP Fayez Al-Jomhour submitted a bill to amend the second clause of article 33 of the Municipality law No. 33/2016.

The bill is aimed to exempt the joint ownership houses located in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh from the regulation of the first clause of article 33 of the above mentioned law, which prevents Kuwait Municipality from issuing description certificate or survey letters to the owners of violating houses with joint ownership.

He said the bill will allow the owners of the houses located in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh to obtain the description certificates and survey letters needed to sell their houses, as part of the procedures aimed at developing Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh.

The lawmaker stressed that, in case the government does not approve the bill, the State Minister for Municipal Affairs will bear political responsibility for disturbing the citizens’ interest.

In addition, MP Hamad Al-Medlej highlighted that the cooperation of the parliament with the government is linked to the achievement of popular legislation, especially those concerning citizens’ interest.

He urged the government, particularly the Minister of Finance Fahad Al-Jarallah, to show cooperation for improving the citizens’ standard of living by ratifying the relevant bills related to reforming salaries’ scale and increasing pension.

MP Al-Medlej warned against the issuance of negative reports whenever the MPs call for enhancing the citizens’ income.

He stressed the fact that KD 2.5 billion was scheduled to be referred to the Public Institution for Social Security for investment purposes.

MP Al-Medlej asked Minister Al-Jarallah to verify the information that the witnesses against the former chairman of the institution Fahad Al-Rajaan, who was convicted of stealing huge amounts of the institution’s funds, have been rejected and exposed to abusive procedures.

The lawmaker asked if the Public Institution for Social Security addressed the Public Prosecution to change the description of the lawsuit against Al-Rajaan, and if the institution delayed in responding to the requests of Public Prosecution for reports on Al-Rajaan’s case.

He also asked for verification about the violations recorded by the State Audit Bureau concerning the conflict of interest through the dismissal of the Legal Affairs Director of the Public Institution for Social Security and his replacement with a relative of Al-Rajaan.

By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh
Al-Seyassah/Arab Times Staff

This news has been read 3336 times!

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