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MP decries interim govt decision to withdraw KD5 bln from ‘Fund’

Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee discusses number of bills

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 22: The parliamentary Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee on Monday discussed a number of bills, including the proposal to amend the Penal Code in order to cancel the stipulation on remand for individuals involved in opinion cases. Committee Chairman MP Khalid Ayed Al-Anzi said they decided to ask for the opinion of the concerned institutions to make sure the bill does not violate the Constitution.

He added the committee referred some bills to the concerned committees; such as the bills regarding the State ‘purchasing’ the citizens’ debts and writing off interest on loans which were forwarded to the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee.

Other bills forwarded to the concerned committees include the proposals to amend the law on establishing the National Fund for Small and Medium Enterprises, and addressing the negative consequences of coronavirus.

The committee approved the proposed establishment of a company for marketing local agricultural products, establishment of an independent public institution for investment in sustainable energy, KD40 increase of the monthly housing allowance, validity of housing grant application even if the applicant divorces his wife and they have no children, add housewives and handicapped to the beneficiaries of health insurance for retirees, and increase the children allowance from KD50 to KD75 for each child.

In another development, MP Hassan Jawhar criticized the decision of the interim government to withdraw KD5 billion from the Future Generations Fund. He said interim Minister of Finance Khalifa Hamada or any of the interim ministers or even HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al- Khalid has no right to issue such a decision because they are members of a government that already resigned.

He claimed the interim government resorted to this kind of solution after a series of failures to address the economic problems. He went on to say that HH the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah exercised his right to suspend the parliamentary sessions according to Article 106 of the Constitution, but HH the Prime Minister must take the blame for referring such a request to His Highness the Amir despite the fact that he is the head of the government which already resigned and he has been unable to form the new government until now.

Frivolous
Addressing HH the Prime Minister, Jawhar asserted: “If this is your tremendous effort and your best, do not come back to the National Assembly because you are not welcome as long as you adopt such frivolous policies.”

On the other hand, MP Abdulaziz Al-Saqaabi said the interim government ignored all the suggestions regarding the economic crisis and decided to use the Future Generations Fund which protected Kuwait during the Iraqi invasion. He revealed the interim government has withdrawn a total of KD45 billion from the Public Reserve Fund in the last six years; thereby, emptying the fund.

He added the interim government disregarded the recommendations to impose tax on major companies, increase the rent for State properties, and cancel the armament budget which is not subject to monitoring and could deplete the public treasury. Meanwhile, Chairman of the Negative Phenomena Committee MP Badr Al-Dahoum confirmed that the panel deliberated on several bills Monday; including the proposal to address sexual harassment and annoying women in public places.

He said the panel suggested the formation of a bigger committee consisting of the representatives of all concerned institutions and civil societies to determine factors leading to the spread of negative phenomena such as drug addiction, and find ways to address these issues. He also confirmed the presence of the representatives of Kuwait General Administration of Customs (KGAC) in the meeting, indicating that drug addiction is the top priority of the panel.

By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff

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