Lawmaker proposes govt buy debt again

Assembly panel meets bedoon jailed illegally

KUWAIT: MP Majed Al-Mutairi yesterday called on the government to buy billions of dinars in bank loans taken by Kuwaiti citizens, revisiting a sensitive issue that had dominated domestic politics for years. But Mutairi this time says his draft law will not cost the government anything and will still relieve Kuwaiti citizens from a big financial burden.

In his bill, the lawmaker proposes that local banks report within one month to the Central Bank all the loans taken by citizens from local banks. The Central Bank in turn will place government deposits equal to the debt on Kuwaiti citizens, who will be exempted from repaying their debts. Mutairi said through this way, the Kuwaiti people will be relieved and the government will not pay any extra dinar. He however didn’t mention the amounts of interest that the government could obtained on the deposits.

The lawmaker said domestic banks and investment companies will then invest the deposits placed against the citizens’ loans and take their dues from the investment returns. The government had in the past adamantly rejected such proposals, saying they constitute a major burden on state finances, and its rejection had locked the country into political crises. The government is highly expected to reject this proposal too because of its high cost on government coffers. The size of citizens’ debt is not known, but it is believed to be several billion dinars.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly’s human rights committee yesterday met Mohammad Al-Enezi, a stateless man who was illegally detained by the interior ministry for 25 days over allegedly plotting to assassinate Saleh Al-Fadhalah, the head of the stateless (bedoons) central agency. Member of the committee MP Thamer Al-Dhafiri said the panel heard from Enezi about flagrant violations committed by the state security agency during his detention.

The lawmaker called on the interior ministry to launch an investigation into the allegations and threatened that the interior minister will be held politically responsible. The public prosecution decided to shelve the case against Enezi after it found that he had only sent a text message to Fadhalah without threatening him.

Rapporteur of the legal and legislative committee MP Khalil Abul said yesterday that the committee received a report from the government on its viewpoints regarding the grilling against the prime minister. The government explained why it believes the grilling is unconstitutional. Abul said that the committee also discussed the issue with three top constitutional experts who expressed their opinions. The committee will meet on Monday with griller MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri, who shunned a previous invitation on Wednesday.

By B Izzak


This article was published on 06/12/2018