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KUWAIT CITY, Aug 30: MP Riyad Al-Adsani has disclosed his intention to submit an interpellation request against State Minister for National Assembly Affairs Adel Al-Kharafiby the beginning of the upcoming legislative term; asserting that even if the minister survives this interpellation, another one will be submitted against him because “any negligent minister will be held responsible.” Al-Adsani seems to have reached a boiling point as he spoke about almost every sector of the executive authority and how dysfunctional they are in a press conference.
He attributed all cases of squandering public funds and other similar violations to the appointment of incompetent officials through favors from corrupt higher officials, indicating this has resulted in multiple investigations by the concerned authorities. He touched on the claims of some MPs that financial allocations are being given to particular MPs through the Cabinet Diwan, saying this case is similar to the million deposits scandal.
For this reason, the MP is also planning to submit an interpellation request against His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah if the Cabinet does not issue an official statement denying the allegation. He pointed out the Parliament had earlier instructed the State Audit Bureau (SAB) to investigate the financial affairs of the Cabinet in order to determine if the claims are simple lies or true and then hold either HH the Prime Minister or a minister responsible according to results of investigations. On what made him think about submitting the interpellation requests, the MP explained the public cares about their welfare, housing issue, healthcare and education; but he believes improving education and combating corruption will correct all other issues.
Regarding investments, the MP stated the parliamentary Budgets and Final Accounts Committee has, in collaboration with the concerned authorities including SAB, investigated local and foreign investments. He revealed the committee looked into the financial database of Touristic Enterprises Company (TEC) which, he said, has large investments that are not being utilized correctly and the same goes for Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) in terms of foreign investments. He added SAB has submitted reports on both institutions that are riddled with irregularities, issues which have been left unresolved and now demand answers from the responsible minister.
Furthermore, Al-Adsani revealed there are 38 ongoing medical projects – construction of new hospitals and clinics, four of which are under the supervision of the Ministry of Health while the rest are under the Ministry of Public Works. He argued this is an error in execution because building hospitals and clinics require comprehensive medical planning, which includes appointment of qualified medical personnel and provision of necessary medical equipment based on the location and population. “It is not just a matter of building the structure,” he stressed. He added there are numerous violations regarding industrial units – all supported with evidence. He revealed there are more than KD 18 million receivables from this sector.
“This is why we rejected the expenditure report of the industrial authority until this amount is collected,” he clarified. He went on to say KD 5.4 million governmental receivables are currently under process, while KD 8.5 million are pending and KD 4.4 million are the subject of legal disputes. Moreover, the MP went on to enumerate more issues for which he has submitted parliamentary queries to the responsible minister, but the usual response of the state minister for National Assembly Affairs is: the queries are unconstitutional a matter which does not even fall under his responsibilities as no MP submits unconstitutional queries, considering there are regulations and processes in place to ensure the queries are in accordance with internal regulations and the Constitution.
He considers the widespread corruption a result of weak self-supervision within the Council of Ministers. He said every minister must submit his plans every Cabinet meeting, while the council office should supervise and monitor these plans.
“When I say office, I mean the Prime Minister,” clarified the MP.In another development, Chairman of the Replacement and Job Crisis Committee MP Khaleel Al-Saleh praised the Civil Service Commission (CSC) for cancelling 3,140 work contracts of non-Kuwaiti employees. He affirmed this is a good step towards implementation of the State’s policy on replacing the expatriate workforce with Kuwaitis. He added if more Kuwaitis replace foreign workers, it entails acknowledgment of the capability of nationals; but not all governmental bodies are fully committed to this directive as some are still falling behind in terms of implementation. He called on all of these institutions to cooperate with the committee in implementing the policy.
On the other hand, MP Omar Al-Tabtabaei submitted queries to Minister of Justice, Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Fahad Al-Afasi about non-Kuwaitis working at Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority and procedures followed in hiring non-Kuwaitis — whether Kuwaitis are capable of occupying these positions or not.
By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff