MPs to take up commodity price rise

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KUWAIT CITY, July 10: The National Assembly is set to hold on Tuesday an ordinary session, and a complimentary session on Wednesday to discuss tabled items. At the forefront of session’s agenda is a response to the inaugural Amiri speech, and examining resignation of audit bureau chief. The Assembly commences its session by authenticating session minutes and considering incoming messages, complaints, and referrals.

Discussions revolving around incidents of burning the Holy Quran and the dangerous and serious consequences of such infringements on the Islamic religion are to take up to three hours of the session time. Two hours were allocated for the discussion of the strategic substitute to allow for government clarifications and the exchange of perspectives. The ordinary session is also meant to handle observation of commodity prices increases, formation of several temporary committees, and looking into positions of leadership.

The agenda lists discussions of several parliamentary committee reports including foreign affairs committee reports on military cooperation agreements with Turkiye and Ukraine, maritime navigation agreements with Moroccan government, and an agreement with EU on nuclear energy. Foreign Affairs committee reports also include draft laws concerning customs deal with South Korea, Arab protocol on human trafficking, nautical piracy and robberies as well as a number of Memorandums of Understanding, and discussion on Kuwait joining the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks.

Further on the session’s agenda are government dossiers on residential care, and report from the anti-corruption authority.

Meanwhile, Rapporteur of the parliamentary Financial and Economic Affairs Committee MP Abdulwahab Al-Essa has disclosed that the committee withdrew the report on the government’s Public Loan Bill. He said the 2020 Parliament completed the report, which was included in the agenda of the upcoming session. He explained that Article 109 of the National Assembly Law states the reports on bills submitted by the government and included in the agenda must remain in the agenda of the new Assembly unless the concerned committee decides to remove it. He pointed out that he cannot approve the bill in its current form, because it is unacceptable that the government will borrow such a huge amount in order to pay salaries. He will support the bill only if it is amended; such that the government will spend the loan on the establishment and development of enterprises, and then use the revenues of these enterprises to pay the loan.

He also revealed that during the meeting, he deduced that the committee is not serious in implementing the strategic alternative to the salary scale. He said Minister of Finance and Minister of State for Economic and Investment Affairs Manaf Al-Hajri informed him about the governmental dispute over the strategic alternative, adding the bill deviated from its original purpose.

He quoted the minister as saying that the government rejected the current form of the bill, which stipulates increasing the salaries of a large percentage of public sector employees. If the government approves the increase in salaries, the nationals working in the private sector are excluded. This will widen the gap between the salaries, which means the strategic alternative does not serve its original purpose, he added.

In the meantime, Rapporteur of the Interior and Defense Affairs Committee MP Khalid Al-Tamar said the committee recently met with Deputy First Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Talal Khalid Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and senior officials at the ministry. They discussed the bills on amending National Assembly Election Law No. 25/1962 and establishment of the higher commission for elections. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff and Agencies

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