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Queries sent on establishment of factories in Nuwaiseeb
KUWAIT CITY, July 7: MP Osama Al-Shaheen said there have been grave violations at the Public Authority for Industry (PAI) regarding the distribution of industrial plots. He obtained information that some plots will be distributed to MPs and consultants who have strong links with the government, pointing out this is a conflict of interests. He is afraid that such violations will lead to payment of political receipts, which are not in the interest of public funds. He disclosed the agenda of the meeting of PAI’s board of directors on Wednesday includes the distribution of plots with a total area of almost 3,850,000 square meters to 67 major enterprises. He asserted this size is larger than what have been distributed since the independence of Kuwait. He argued the abovementioned space can be distributed to almost 3,850 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) whose problems must be solved immediately; especially the problems caused by the coronavirus crisis. He claimed such plots will be distributed to certain enterprises without the need to submit economic and feasibility studies. In some cases, the distributed plot is valued at KD10 million while the capital of the beneficiary company is only KD10,000, he disclosed.
He asked His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid, Chairman of the Environment Public Authority (EPA) Sheikh Abdullah Al-Homoud Al- Sabah, and Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdullah Essa Al-Salman to prevent such violations. He added some beneficiaries did not meet the conditions, indicating one of them established companies in 2020 which are included in the agenda of PAI’s board meeting on Wednesday while the applications of other companies were rejected even if they were established in 2014 and 2015. Commenting on the issue, MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji urged Al-Shaheen to file a case at the relevant monitoring institutions like Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) and provide them with the information in his possession. Al-Shaheen then responded, stating that everyone knows what happens to cases filed at Nazaha, so he resorted to the most effective platform – public opinion. Meanwhile, Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdullah Essa Al-Salman on Wednesday issued a decision to suspend the distribution of industrial plots for more study. He affirmed PAI’s board of directors did not discuss the distribution of plots during their meeting; adding the distribution plan will be revised to ensure strict compliance with the regulations, and that approvals were obtained from the concerned institutions especially EPA.
Also, Al-Shaheen forwarded queries to the minister about the establishment of factories in Nuwaiseeb based on the fact that protecting public health and the environment is part of the responsibilities of different public institutions, and in view of the decisions issued by the Council of Ministers and EPA to prevent the establishment of such factories. He wants to know why the decision of former Minister of Commerce and Industry Khalid Al-Rawdan to suspend the allocation of two million square meters land in Nuwaiseeb for one company has not been implemented. He asked about the violation of decisions issued by the Cabinet and EPA to prevent the establishment of new factories; particularly in Nuwaiseeb, and generally in the southern part of Kuwait, as they pose a grave threat to public health. He requested for information like the criteria for the distribution of industrial plots and number of plots distributed to SMEs. In another development, MP Hamdan Al-Azmi called on the government to solve the problem of Kuwaitis studying in Egypt. He said these students completed their final exams 10 days ago, but they have not been able to return home due to the lack of Kuwait Airways flights. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff