MPs threaten to grill finance minister over ‘religiously prohibited’ interests

KUWAIT: The parliamentary economic and financial affairs committee is scheduled to hold a meeting today, to be attended by the Finance Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf, to discuss proposals to drop the social security loans’ interest. The meeting, headed by MP Salah Khorsheed, will be held amidst parliamentary threats to grill Hajraf unless the government passes the proposals on grounds that interests are religiously prohibited.

Meanwhile, informed source stressed that the government is totally against the proposal on grounds that the loans are part of a financial and economic process followed in all financial establishments, and that they do not overburden retirees as claimed by lawmakers. “The loans are very suitable to retirees’ pensions,” the sources added, noting that the government has a feeling that lawmakers are starting to interfere in the core of the social security financial operations in a way that hinders its executive procedures and affects its financial status, leading to considerable losses.

With reference to threats to grill minister Hajraf, the sources explained that he had been grilled twice in vain, and argued that the issue has become too personal for some lawmakers “who seek to achieve more popularity in preparation for the parliamentary elections.”

In other news, Kuwait Pharmaceutical Society’s Secretary General Ali Hadi urged the minister of social affairs to work on imposing the new law which mandates that pharmacies at co-op societies should be run by Kuwaiti pharmacists, adding that all those pharmacies’ licenses had expired by the end of the grace period given by the law on June 30, 2019. Hadi added that the health ministry had warned those pharmacies pending referring them to the penal committee which might close them down and withdraw their licenses until a court order is made.

By A Saleh