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Speaker urges blueprint to redress economic imbalance

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 20, (KUNA): National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim on Saturday called for a national blueprint to redress economic imbalances in the country through mechanisms and decrees that keep public welfare intact.

Speaking to reporters following a meeting of the parliamentary committee on financial and economic affairs, Al-Ghanim cautioned that if the current economic situation continues, there will be adverse effects.

Hailing the meeting as fruitful, candid and positive, Al-Ghanim said all parties, notably MPs and officials, lived up to due responsibility.

The current situation should end in practical and tangible steps that can be felt by citizens, he said, adding that what is being done now is to preserve the future of citizens, next generations’ money and Kuwait’s future. He pointed out that two other meetings would be held on Tuesday and Sunday to discuss a draft roadmap for reforming economic imbalances.

Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Acting Minister of Oil Anas Al-Saleh, Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs Ali Al-Omair and several other ministers and senior officials were present in the meeting.

Last week, Al-Ghanim headed a meeting of the parliamentary committee on fi nancial and economic affairs, with His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah attending. The meeting, which was attended by a governmental team tasked with discussing issues of economic reforms, focused on several topics pertinent to the country’s current economic situation and how to redress the State budget deficit amid uncontrollably dwindling oil prices.

Al-Ghanim on Saturday urged the government to review its decision on the reduction of allocations for medical treatment abroad in a way that should not affect patients. Al-Ghanim told reporters after the meeting of the parliamentary committee on financial and economic affairs that he agrees on reducing spending at different sectors, including overseas medical treatment through sound rules that should not affect those who deserve it.

Al-Saleh said it was a “comprehensive and fruitful” meeting held between ministers and lawmakers of the financial committee. Al-Saleh, also Acting Minister of Oil, added that the conferees discussed procedures on the economic path. Following the meeting held at the National Assembly’s headquarters, he told reporters that the paper submitted by the government to the committee includes six axes and a report on cutting subsides. He noted that another meeting will be held next Tuesday in which some offi cials from Ministry of Electricity and Water will attend in order to reply to all inquiries of MPs.

The minister said there would be a third meeting on Sunday, next week, to present all procedural visions and discuss them with MPs. “There was an understanding from MPs on topics discussed during the meeting, “ he said, calling for launching comprehensive economic reforms. Asked about raising prices of electricity, he noted that the paper includes procedures of the economic path, an activation of the private sector’s role, a policy of spending rationalization and projects to be carried out in 2016-2017.

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