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Tuesday , November 24 2020

Spend what you have

Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli

As I was going through the official newspaper Kuwait Today’s issue of Oct 4, I was amazed by the number of laws that His Highness our Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad (May Almighty Allah preserve him) had signed when he was the deputy of the late Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad (May Allah have mercy on his soul).

There were a total of 19 laws, which were related to the endorsement of the budgets of independent bodies for the current fiscal year 2020/2021 that began in April.

The surprising thing about these budgets is that they plucked KD 2,468,148,000 from the public funds. When you look at the names of these independent bodies and compare their output and contribution towards the wellbeing of the Kuwaiti society, they score zero.

These bodies have brought no added value to the community since the time they were established; in fact, we were much better off before they were established for whatever reasons.

However, we are in a society where everyone knows everyone. We know that many of these independent bodies were established as a facade of the modern State of Kuwait. Some of them were established for serving the specific purpose of channeling the generosity of the State to the “chosen ones”, including relatives and children of certain factions, or to even cater for parachute appointments of both Kuwaitis and expatriates.

We have lost hope in our officials in the Ministry of Finance, headed by its honorable minister, his undersecretary and assistant undersecretaries, and his deputy and his assistant agents, in terms of putting an end to the unjustified waste of billions of dollars by many of those bodies.

Therefore, our hope is in the members of our upcoming National Assembly, and most importantly the chairperson and members of the Parliament’s Budgets and Finance Committee. This is because we are dissatisfied with the oversight role played by the members of our current Budgets and Finance Committee.

They have been behaving like bystanders in response to this unjustified waste in the recent years. They have not raised a single finger in protest against such criminal wastage of our money and the money of our future generations.

The fact that should be clear in the minds of every decision-maker in this country – from the official leadership to the public – is that we Kuwaitis and our children and grandchildren possess this money equally.

It is Almighty Allah’s gift to all of us, not just to some especially the mouthpieces in the oil sector where the leadership and those working in this sector behave as though they are the ones who brought these billions and benefits to Kuwait and its people.

Nonetheless, this is not our topic for today, because the oil sector and those working in it, as well as the government employees and independent bodies, work according to the principle whereby when you ask them, “Who ordered you?”, they will respond by saying, “Who forbade me?!”

Those who are maintaining silence in this regard are individuals and officials of our rational governments and our monitoring parliamentarians who operate based on the saying, “Spend what’s in your pocket, and the future will give you more”.

Email: ali-albaghli@hotmail.com

By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli

Former Minister of Oil

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