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Panel nod on draft to borrow KD 25bn – Proposal to raise financial assistance to private sector workers rejected
KUWAIT CITY, Jan 7: The parliamentary Finance and Economic Affairs Committee approved Sunday the government’s draft law on borrowing KD 25 billion from domestic and international markets, says Committee Chairman MP Salah Khoursheed who affirmed that the committee discussed all justifications before approving the bill.
Khoursheed went on to disclose that the committee agreed to withdraw reports about the proposal to reduce the interest rate on insurance, reduce retirement age and assign a neutral foreign company to study the proposal within one month or one month and a half. He said the committee also rejected the proposal to increase financial privileges for workers in the private sector and those with special needs. He affirmed the committee will present to the Parliament the justifications for withdrawing the report on early retirement in the session slated for Jan 9, 2018. He added a foreign company has been tasked to study the subject within 45 days from the date of signing the contract.
Meanwhile, MP Riyad Al-Adasani pointed out the government’s idea to borrow from local and international markets entails decline in the credit rating of the country. He wondered why the government is insisting on borrowing considering that the current reserve in State agencies is estimated at KD 20 billion and this amount should go to the public treasury He said he will soon request for deliberation on the State revenue report in order to prove to the people that the country does not need to borrow. He also asked the government to provide the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee with the accurate figures in terms of the sovereign funds.
Commenting on the early retirement bill, MP Ali Al-Deqbasi confirmed his commitment to push for discussion of reports on this bill and the proposed reduction of interest rates on loans granted to pensioners. He called on all parliamentarians to shoulder their responsibilities and vote against withdrawal of reports from the agenda of the Jan 9 session. He clarified that he is not against public interest as he is rather keen on serving the interests of the country and its citizens, calling for adoption of the draft law on reducing the age of retirement in its first deliberation and then postpone the second deliberation until the neutral company submits its report as per the request of the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff