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MP calls for heads-up on price, subsidies action
January 13, 2015, 8:25 am
HH the PM Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah chairs the weekly Cabinet meeting.

MP Faisal Al-Kandari has submitted a draft proposal calling on the government to always present to the National Assembly any policy or work program or plan related to lifting subsidy or increasing the price of any commodity or service before taking a decision to this effect.

According to the proposal, the government must also present to the Parliament all studies prepared in this regard to give an opportunity for MPs to give their opinions and observations on such issues.

Al-Kandari called the proposal ‘important’ given the negative effects that followed the lifting of government subsidies for diesel and kerosene as a result of which the food prices, consumer goods and construction materials have also increased. He said the lifting of the subsidies on these products has affected the low and middle income citizens because the subsidy was lifted without studying its implications on the common man.

Moreover, this decision contradicts with the directives of HH the Amir who has stressed that any decisions taken by the government must not affect the living standard of the citizens. Meanwhile, MP Khalil Abdullah has also submitted a parliamentary query to Minister of Oil Ali Omair on the companies that get fuel subsidies. He wants to know the number and names of the stateowned and privately-owned companies that get subsidized fuel from the oil ministry, the type of activity they are involved in and the amount of fuel used by these companies on a daily basis. He also wants to know if there is a ceiling set for these companies in terms of fuel they use. He also asked for details about the state’s strategic reserve and types of fuel complete with a table showing the strategic reserve for the past five years from 2009 to 2014 — separately for each oil item.

Meanwhile, under the current circumstances and the decline in oil price, which has affected the state income, MP Abdulhamid Dashti asserted to resolve this issue the government must pursue individuals who are ‘stealing’ billions of dinars from the treasury. This is in addition to re-evaluating the policies of the Kuwait Investment Authority. “Until when will these thieves suck money from the country while the people continue to suffer,” asked MP Abdulhamid Dashti. He stressed there is no better time than now to stop this. Referring to influential individuals in the country, the MP believes the ability of taking a real step towards reform cannot be achieved unless these ‘thieves’ are stopped in their track because “there is no room left to play nine, considering the people are the ones who pay the price. He said there are other MPs who share his opinion and together they will ensure these individuals are dealt with.

On another issue, MP Abdulrahman Al-Jeeran called on the government and all ministers to attend the session scheduled for today, to vote on the issue of lifting immunity of MP Abdulhamid Dashti for his misconduct — for what he has said about the Kingdom of Bahrain. Speaking to the press, the Jeeran asserted that this is a national obligation for the government because at stake is the relationship between the two countries, the State of Kuwait and the Kingdom of Bahrain.

He asserted the State of Kuwait will not stand idle in the face of any kind of misconduct that promotes sectarian tensions, especially between brotherly countries. Turning his attention to the Assembly, the MP called on his fellow MPs to vote in favor of lifting immunity of MP Abdulhamid Dashti. He pointed out since the beginning of his tenure he has been voting for every case of lifting immunity. Since MP Al-Jeeran is from the Salafist Bloc, he noted that MP Abdulhamid had once stated that if the Public Prosecution proposes lifting the immunity of any MP from the Salafist Bloc, he would advocate the cause. This behavior of MP Abdulhamid has strengthened MP Al- Jeeran’s determination to see MP Abdulhamid’s immunity lifted. Agreeing with his colleague, MP Hmoud Al-Hamdan asserted the government has to attend the session and prove to the regional community that any sectarian behavior will not be tolerated.

The MP affirmed the country cannot have a politician who disrespects the neighboring countries and their influential figures. He added, MPs must focus on their supervisory and legislative role without interfering with foreign affairs. Responding to MP Al-Jeeran’s statement, MP Abdulhamid Dashti said, ‘It is a pity the MP has shown a lot of spite, who with every word that comes out of his mouth smells of sectarianism’. He reminded MP Al-Jeeran that he is the head of the International Council for Fair Trial and Human Rights, a Swiss organization, and his duty is to fight for humanity, their rights on religion, freedom and dignity, which is the farthest thing from being sectarian, “a matter that you will never understand,” he said.

MP Jeeran went on to say it is his Bloc that must carry the sectarian tag. On the other hand, responding to MP Hmoud Al-Hamdan, he said the more MPs from the Salafist Bloc speak, the more they prove their incompetence, since MP Al-Hamdan is also from the Salafist Bloc. He said he has nothing to prove, considering MP Al-Hamdan is the Rapporteur of the Human Rights Committee, which MP Abdulhamid Dashti is the head of, and that MP Al- Hamdan has accompanied MP Abdulhamid to the international forums for human rights that took place in Morocco.

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