MINISTER LAMENTS LACK OF COORDINATION ON KEY BILLS
KUWAIT CITY, June 30: National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim adjourned the special session on Wednesday due to the absence of the government as per Article 116 of the Constitution. The government did not attend the session because of the lack of coordination on items in the agenda, while members of the 31 MPs Bloc did not occupy the seats allocated for the ministers.
Al-Saqaabi added Kuwaitis are proud of the freedom they enjoy, while dictatorship is prevalent in many parts of the world. “Do not spoil everything that is good in our country,” he concluded. On the other hand, MP Hassan Jawhar underscored the need to provide citizens with accurate information about the financial status of the State before ratifying the general budget. Citing last year’s presentation on the financial status of the State, Jawhar disclosed the total assets and investments of the country at the time reached KD 219 billion.
However, he said this figure is incorrect; considering the press statement that His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid issued in Washington in 2016 during his tenure as foreign affairs minister. At the time, he announced in the presence of then US Secretary of State John Kerry that the total Kuwaiti investment in the USA in relation to the Future Generations Fund reached $300 billion.
He quoted HH the Prime Minister as saying that such investment will generate job opportunities for the Americans, asserting the then Minister of Finance Anas Al-Saleh confirmed this when he announced that the total Kuwaiti investment in America was $400 billion — $300 billion for the Future Generations Fund and $100 billion for Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) and Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS). He added the premier and Al- Saleh confirmed that the abovementioned amount ($ 400 billion) constitute 54 percent of the overseas Kuwaiti investments, which means the total investment is almost $800 billion — much higher than last year’s $500 billion. He claimed this is the reason why the government was in a hurry to approve the general budget without the reports of the concerned parliamentary committees and without the MPs’ discussion.
Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs Mubarak Al- Harees on Wednesday reaffirmed the government keenneess on fruitful cooperation with the National Assembly for serving Kuwait’s higher interests. The government could not express its opinion on most proposed bills, during the National Assembly session that was set today (but was adjourned), he said, noting that there was no proper and early coordination with the cabinet regarding today’s session. The government received the invitation to participate in the session on Tuesday afternoon, 24 hours ahead of the scheduled session, he said, indicating that notifying the government at such short notice happened despite great significance of the bills and agenda’s topics. The government could not attend the session, he said, noting there was no beforehand proper and early coordination, according to standard parliamentary practices. Earlier today, National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Ali Al-Ghanim adjourned the parliament’s session on Wednesday, due to the absence of the government.
By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff and Agencies