Panel raps finance ministry expenses; MP warns minister over closing charity

KUWAIT: The National Assembly’s budgets committee yesterday blamed the finance ministry for unnecessarily inflating financial allocations for certain items in the budget. Head of the committee MP Adnan Abdulsamad said the ministry presented “illogical” reasons for its actions, giving an example of the ministry allocating KD 50 million to face the security situation following the suicide attack on the Shiite Imam Al-Sadeq Mosque, although the reasons for the allocations are no longer valid. Abdulsamad added the ministry of defense has not submitted the final accounts for the armament budget approved in the 2015/2016 fiscal year.

The Assembly’s public funds committee yesterday decided to refer to the public prosecution the issue of the finance ministry’s insistence to allow an investment company to utilize the state-owned Kuwait International Fairgrounds in Mishref. The committee said it took the decision to prevent further losses to public funds. Meanwhile, opposition MP Mohammad Al-Mutair yesterday warned the prime minister against cutting water supplies to consumers who fail to pay their bills, saying that such action is unacceptable in a rich country like Kuwait.

Separately, MP Saleh Ashour yesterday issued a stern warning to Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Hind Al-Sabeeh for dissolving the Shiite Al-Theqalain charity society. Ashour said in a statement that the minister’s action is wrong and will not go without accountability, especially since it was taken without any warning or investigation. He said he will give the minister two days to respond to the petition filed against the dissolution and if she does not reverse her decision, political action will be taken, a clear reference to grilling.

The lawmaker also sent a series of questions to the minister about her action against the society. He said the minister said in a statement that she will not allow the reputation of Kuwaiti charity work to be tarnished in a way to impact the image of Kuwait internationally. Ashour asked the minister if any Kuwaiti charity has distorted the image of charity work in the country, and asked her to provide the names of those societies. He asked if any Kuwaiti charity, its founders or members are listed on the UN terror list.

Ashour said the statement coincided with the dissolution of the Al-Theqalain society and asked if there has been any international complaint against it, what is the type of complaint and who made it. Ashour asked if the ministry informed the society of the said complaint and if the ministry has conducted an investigation into the incident. He said that the minister has claimed that the society was dissolved because of grave financial and administrative violations, which were proved by official committees. Ashour demanded to know the nature of those violations and if the society was notified of them before it was dissolved.

By B Izzak


This article was published on 19/03/2018