KUWAIT CITY, Jan 25: His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah has referred Decree No. 3/2024 regarding a draft law on the allocations for the head of State to National Assembly Speaker Ahmed Al-Saadoun.
The draft law, which was included in the agenda of the parliamentary Budgets and Final Accounts Committee, stipulates that the allocations for the current head of State for the duration of his rule shall be set at KD 50 million annually and this will be under the State’s general expenditures item in the annual budget.
According to the draft law, the conditions for the ruling family members’ entitlement to such allocations, and the method of determining and disbursing them shall be specified in an Amiri order. HH the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance must implement this law, which took effect on Dec 17, 2023. Meanwhile, MPs Ahmed Lari and Hani Shams called on the government to continue the suspension of concerts in solidarity with the people of Gaza.
They explained: “The government must continue implementing the decision it issued last October — when the Operation Al-Aqsa Flood started — to suspend artistic celebrations, as the matter had reached a war of extermination and burning of the crops and offspring of our brothers in Gaza, the West Bank and Palestine.” On the other hand, the Secretariat General of the Assembly denied receiving a request from the Minister of Justice to lift the parliamentary immunity of Deputy Assembly Speaker Mohammad Al-Mutair on grounds of insulting HH the Amir.
In a press statement, the Secretariat General clarified: “We have not received any request in this regard. If any request is received from the Attorney General to lift the parliamentary immunity of any member of the Assembly, the Secretariat follows the internal regulations of the legislature, particularly Article 21; such that the request is submitted to the Assembly Speaker who, in turn, refers it to the Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee to discuss it and then submit a report to the Assembly.” The Secretariat stressed that it handles all issues by the constitutional texts, internal regulations of the Assembly, and the principles of justice and transparency. It also emphasized the need to be accurate in transmitting news and taking it from official sources to avoid misleading the public.
Moreover, MP Badr Nashmi Al- Anzi submitted a proposal for the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and other concerned institutions to hire Political Science graduates and appoint them to posts that match their specialization. He suggested appointing these as government relations coordinators, international relations coordinators, and parliamentary relations coordinators. He also recommended allocating jobs for these graduates in major development projects like the North Economic Zone, Silk City, National Council of Planning and Development, National Cybersecurity Center, and international and regional organizations.
In addition, Al-Anzi asked Deputy Prime Minister, Defense Minister and acting Interior Minister Fahd Yousef Al-Sabah about the budget deficit of the Interior Ministry in fiscals 2020/2021, 2021/2022 and 2022/2023; a projected deficit in fiscal 2023/2024; and if there is a plan to rationalize expenditures to address the issue. He asked Minister of Social, Family and Childhood Affairs and acting Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Feras Saud Al-Sabah about the public fund embezzlement cases recorded in cooperative societies since 2014 till date, embezzled amount per year in each cooperative, penalties imposed by the court, and the list of convicted individuals including their jobs and nationalities. He wants to know the number of cases that the boards of directors of cooperative societies referred to the Public Prosecution against expatriate workers accused of embezzling and stealing the shareholder’s money.
MP Shuaib Shaaban forwarded queries to Minister of Education, Higher Education and Scientific Research Adel Al-Adwani about the reasons for forming a committee to conduct a study on separating the applied education and training sectors at the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET). He wants to know the projected outcome of this move, list of committee members including their qualifications and experience, allowances they receive, number of meetings held so far, and copies of the minutes of these meetings.
MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri forwarded queries to Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdullah Hamad Al-Jo’an about Article 38 of Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Law No. 22/2023 published in Kuwait Gazette (edition 1668) on Dec 31, 2023 stating: “The current regulations and measures will continue without violating this law until they are replaced or nullified. Upon publication of this law, a committee should be formed and chaired by the concerned minister (Minister of Commerce and Industry) or another official that the minister assigns with the membership of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry undersecretary, Public Authority for Industry (PAI) chairman, and commercial, financial and legal experts (one of whom is registered at the Small and Medium Enterprises Unit). The committee replaces the current KCCI Board of Directors until a new board is elected as per the new law.” The lawmaker inquired if this transitional committee has been formed. If yes, he requested for copies of the receipt and delivery documents related to the handover of the KCCI headquarters, properties, assets, equipment and documents to the committee; as well as the bank deposits in the last five years. If no, he wants to know the reasons for not forming the committee.
MP Muhammad Al-Regaib asked Minister of Electricity, Water and Renewable Energy and Minister of State for Housing Affairs Salem Falah Al-Hajraf about the current number of housing applications; number of applicants who are disabled, widows and those who sold their houses; and number of plots in East Sabah Al-Ahmad Residential City that were allocated for housing grant applicants who sold their houses. MP Muhammad Hayef disclosed that he will re-submit the queries he presented to former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid Al- Jarrah in 2019 about the measures taken to address the problems of Bedouns who were forced to buy passports issued by Arab, African and Asian countries to modify their conditions only to find out later that the passports were forged. He pointed out the relevant reports that the parliamentary Human Rights Committee prepared in several parliamentary terms will be discussed with the government to find the best solution, especially since this is a humanitarian concern.
MP Marzouq Al-Ghanim forwarded queries to HH Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammad Sabah Al- Salem Al-Sabah about the total amount allocated for the secret special expenditures of the Secretariat General of the Cabinet in fiscals 2022/2023 and 2023/2024 including the amount spent in each fiscal year. He asked if the expenditures exceeded the maximum budget allocated for this item, and if a portion of such budget was used to pay individual and news accounts on social media. If yes, he requested for the list of these accounts including the amount paid to each of them; and amount spent when MP Mehalhal Al- Mudhaf announced his plan to grill HH the former Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Sabah on Nov 6, 2023 until the grilling motion was discussed on Nov 28, 2023. MP Mubarak Al-Tasha asked Minister of Justice, Endowments and Islamic Affairs Faisal Al-Gharib if it is true that Minister of Finance and Minister of State for Economic and Investment Affairs Anwar Al-Mudhaf was referred to the Public Prosecution for investigation on the alleged embezzling of the shareholders’ money in a company, breach of trust and other issues.
If yes, he wants to know when Al-Mudhaf was referred to the prosecution, charges filed against him, the party that initiated the lawsuit, and the prosecution’s decision regarding the case. MP Abdullah Al-Anbai asked Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and acting Minister of Interior Sheikh Fahd Al-Yousef if the cash allowance for vacations has been disbursed to any entity affiliated with the Ministry of Interior after the issuance of CSC Resolution No. 32/2023. This resolution stipulates replacement of Article Two in the previous resolution (No. 22/2022) regarding vacation allowance, as the new article states that the allowance should be paid to Kuwaitis only once every 10 years while they are still in service.
By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh and Raed Yousef
Al-Seyassah/Arab Times Staff
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