Assembly to start marathon final sessions from today
KUWAIT: Opposition MP Mohammad Hayef said yesterday he has delayed until today a decision on whether to file to grill Finance Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf or not regarding a dispute over interest rates on pensioners.
Hayef had reportedly went to the speaker’s office determined to file the grilling because the finance minister did not attend a meeting for the assembly’s financial and economic affairs committee which was scheduled to debate the issue.
The lawmaker said an extraordinary meeting for the panel has been set for today and that he will only make his decision after the meeting which will discuss a proposal to abolish interest on loans obtained by pensioners from the social security institution.
MP Safa Al-Hashem, member of the committee, said that the panel discussed a number of proposals on the loans of pensioners and decided to give the government some time to come back with a solid proposal. She opposed calls that demanded abolishing the interest on religious basis and also rejected other proposals that want all such loans stopped. The issue was raised during the debate of a grilling against the finance minister a few weeks ago.
In the meantime, a special session that was scheduled to debate the problem of unemployment among Kuwaiti citizens could not be held due to a lack of quorum. Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem cancelled the session after only 13 MPs showed up with no member of the cabinet which was holding its weekly meeting.
Opposition MP Mohammad Al-Mutair, who was among 10 lawmakers who submitted the request, blasted the government for not coming, saying the government’s validity has expired and is not concerned with the stability of the country or dealing fairly with the people. He urged MPs who are still hesitant to make their decision and stop cooperation with the government.
In the meantime, the national assembly starts today marathon sessions to debate a large number of draft laws and also finalize the budgets. Today and on Thursday, the assembly will debate draft laws while on Tuesday and Wednesday it will debate and approve budgets and final statements. The assembly will discuss the state budget and the country’s fiscal status on July 1 and hold the closing session of the term on the next day and then go into a four-month summer recess.
By B Izzak