The silent forgotten sin

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When we ask about senior officials, or ministers in particular, who caused great losses to public money due to mismanagement, the names of several ministers and officials float on the surface of our memory lane, but the most damaging of them — in my estima-tion — was the former oil minister, Mohammad Saleh al-Basiri, who alone, ten years ago, was responsible for losses worth several bil-lion dinars because of his decision characterized by a lot of recklessness for an unknown period of time.
The “silent sin” began when the minister, who is affiliated with the Brotherhood, raised the salaries of workers in the oil sector which in some cases exceeded 50%, under the pretext that they deserve it and that these increases will not be paid from public money but rather from the cash balances of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, as if the corporation’s money is not the state money, what a great calamity, and what a grievous loss.
Official data recently revealed that the allowances and benefits received by KPC workers and its subsidiaries account for more than 72% of the total spending on salaries for workers in the sector — 1.1 billion dinars, out of 1.52 billion dinars spent on 22 thousand employees during 2021 and 2022.
The matter did not stop at the Petroleum Corporation, but rather the infection of the increase was transmitted to several government agencies, before the government realized the matter and stopped the series of waste.
Today, after ten years, the average monthly salary of a worker in the oil sector is about 6,000 dinars, compared to 1,500 dinars for most government employees, as oil employees receive 7 allowances — cost of living allowance, social allowance, housing allowance, transportation allowance, time allowance, and shift allowance and another with a value of 190.56 million dinars, while the allowances are followed by another classification that includes overtime through which employees of the oil sector earned 79.55 million dinars during the last fiscal year alone.
They also receive 11 items of benefits, with a total value of about 602.4 million dinars, distributed among workers’ housing, educa-tional assistance, vacation tickets, end-of-service benefits, workers’ retirement, medical services, insurance, etc.
In addition, they received incentive bonuses, social services, additional grants, and significant spending on job development and train-ing.
The Corporation’s management has previously confirmed that the policy of austerity and cost reduction will not come close to the workers’ salaries and benefits.
It was stated in an international report that the salaries of leaders in Kuwait oil companies are higher than the salaries of leaders in Aramco, the largest and most profitable company in human history.
All of this was caused by the decision of a former minister, and no one held him accountable for what he did, not even with a single word. Rather, his party’s popularity with the government increased, along with the increase in the use of people like him.
We hope that whoever stands behind the idea of a “strategic alternative” will be able to bridge this terrible gap, and restore the rights to their owners.
e-mail: [email protected]
By Ahmad alsarraf

This news has been read 31370 times!

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