Privatization law implementation ‘disappointing’

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KUWAIT CITY, Nov 23: Despite the passage of 12 years since the issuance of Law No. 37 of 2010 regarding the organization of privatization programs and operations, its implementation has been disappointing. This was confirmed by an oversight report seen by Al-Qabas daily, in which the report warned of a clear weakness in the government asset privatization programs that were slated to be privatized a long time ago, which means that the technical staff of the privatization programs, as well as the Supreme Council for Privatization that it heads and supervises its work, does not play the role required of them in this aspect.

The report pointed out that the council and its technical staff continues not to take serious and effective measures to privatize public projects, in violation of Law No 37 of 2010 of privatization program in accordance with the law issued in this regard and the decrees regulating it in order to achieve the public interest. The report included a response from the technical staff of the privatization programs, in which it said that it has a plan for many government assets that will be privatized, according to time stages:

– Privatization of the Northern Shuaiba station for electric power generation, the main concerns of electricity and water, and the communications sector, which includes “land fixed lines and broadband.”

– Northern Shuaiba Station Work has been resumed to allocate the electric power generation station and work is currently underway to achieve this on the ground.

– The electricity privatization plan is “stopped” due to the failure to form the Supreme Council for Privatization, which is entrusted with approving the best proposed privatization methods.

– Privatization of the telecommunications sector remaining in the custody of the state. The Economic Committee of the Council of Ministers issued a decision to disqualify the Privatization Programs Apparatus from playing this role, and assigned the Authority for Partnership Projects between the public and private sectors to search for ways to privatize the assets of the Ministry of Communications related to landlines. and broadband.

In a related issue, the oversight report stressed the need for the technical staff of the privatization program to benefit from the financial funds allocated to it to complete the procedures for offering public projects for privatization in order to benefit from the studies prepared at the specified time, and to achieve the desired goal of concluding those contracts included in the budget for each year according to the purposes assigned to them.

The report stated that the Privatization Programs Authority obtained 2.3 million dinars during 2021-2022, allocated for contracts concluded with consulting offices to conduct the necessary studies for the work of the technical staff and the Supreme Council for Privatization, and they were not disbursed, which resulted in charging the state’s general budget with this amount without justification. The technical staff of the privatization program years ago prepared preliminary studies for the entities slated to be privatized, and left them to the private sector in order to manage and promote them and raise their revenues, which are as follows

— Kuwait International Airport, Communications sector in the Ministry of Communications, Shuaiba North Station, Shuwaikh Port, Kuwait Aircraft Fuel Supply Company (KAFCO), Kuwait Aviation Services Company (KASCO), Tourism Projects Company, Kuwait Public Transport Company (KPTC), the Kuwait government press, the Ministry of Electricity and Water and the Postal sector of the Ministry of Communications.

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