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TRANSPARENCY serves as a healthy foundation for building any state. The more the area of ambiguity expands and accountability and oversight fade away, the more corruption expands. It penetrates into institutions and becomes entrenched. If the underlying disease is not treated, it becomes a chronic one.
Therefore, it is necessary to find solutions to all challenges and treat accordingly. This is the task of the constitutional, executive and legislative institutions. However, what is important is the presence of a sincere will to do so.
From the aforementioned introduction, we turn to His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmed Al-Nawaf to tackle some of the challenges that Kuwaitis have been enduring for years, and even decades.
Also, allow us to present some ideas for a solution that eliminates a major obstacle from the path of reform, especially with the seriousness that the people feel in terms of the government work after His Highness assumed the premiership of the Council of Ministers.
Your Highness, first of all, contrary to your predecessors, we hope that your doors will remain open to ideas and suggestions. Otherwise, the deterioration of the country’s affairs will continue, especially since this is your first government and it is a great test.
If you succeed in it, you will have eliminated a large percentage of frustration among the people.
There is real suffering in the matter of loans, and housing, but of course, the mother of the problems is education.
On the other hand, Kuwait has a fund that was established decades ago for Arab economic development, and later expanded to include non-Arab developing countries. The volume of its loans amounted to 1,014 loans distributed over 106 countries, with a value of KD 6,870 million, equivalent to USD 23.358 billion, with small interest, and facilities, some of them up to forty years.
In these loans and projects, there has been much talk of manipulation either in prices, the way they are awarded, nepotism and favoritism. Also, some countries have been explicitly declaring their inability to repay, and requesting for an extension.
On the other hand, there are more than 180,000 citizens who defaulted on their personal loans, and the courts are crowded with cases against them.
Most of them, if not all, have warrants of arrest issued against them, or travel ban imposed on them.
In this regard, the fund can redirect some of its loans to the inside, in line with its motto “partners in development”, It can buy non-residential and commercial loans of defaulted citizens, with the same interest offered to countries, and reschedule the loan for over 20 or 30 years.
By the way, the cost of doing so is not as huge as portrayed by those who do not want a solution.
Many of the countries that benefit from the fund’s loans have financial solvency. Also, the main objective of this assistance is “to build bridges of friendship and brotherhood between the State of Kuwait and the developing countries”. However, experiences have proven that this strategy is not feasible.
The experience of the invasion and occupation and the countries that opposed the Kuwaiti right are the best examples in this regard.
Kuwait is currently in need of every penny to launch its development, which has remained stalled for years due to inaction and confusion, and seeking to unjustly acquire all the country’s capabilities, due to which this matter should be looked into.
Your Highness, this is one of the issues that preoccupy Kuwaitis.
Ibn Khaldun said, “Repressed people misbehave.” To this we add that they persist in crime and break the public order, and if they reach despair, they will explode like a volcano.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times