KUWAIT: Deputy Premier and Defense Minister Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah said yesterday that mega projects in the northern region – the Silk City and Boubyan Island – are expected to attract as much as $400 billion of international investments. The minister told the National Assembly yesterday that all the investments will be foreign and the government is not expected to pay anything towards the projects. The northern region, with an area of 1,800 square kilometers, requires the presence of legislation to lure the investments, adding that a law is currently under consideration.
Part of the mega projects necessary for the region, like the Subbiya Causeway and Mubarak AlKabeer Harbor, are already in final stages of completion. The minister, who heads the higher environment council, said that all new licenses for new factories in Shuaiba industrial areas have been suspended until the environmental damage to the area has been effectively assessed. His comments came after several MPs raised environmental concerns in the area which is home to scores of industrial plants in addition to oil facilities, mainly refineries.
The debate took place during the discussion of the 2018/2019 budgets and the final statement for 2016/2017 for eight government bodies and agencies which included Kuwait News Agency, Small and medium enterprises fund, Investment Promotion Authority, Public Fire Department, Central Bank, Credit Bank, Public Environment Authority and Public Private Partnership Authority.
During the debate, State Minister for Housing Jenan Bushehri reiterated that there are no plans to increase installments paid by citizens for their government houses. She said the news are fabricated and were denied several months ago. Bushehri said that the strategy of the housing authority has now changed from building and distributing government houses to citizens to providing land plots and loans from the credit bank to allow citizens to build their own homes. She emphasized the important role of the Credit Bank especially when the housing authority plans to distribute 12,000 land plots and loans this year.
By B Izzak