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Sides stand ground over fuel price hike – Rise due from September
August 10, 2016, 8:12 am

The Parliament-Government meeting on the government’s decision to increase gasoline prices on Tuesday ended with both sides sticking to their views on the issue. While the government is determined to implement the decision by the beginning of September, members of the Parliament insist that the government must work with what was agreed upon during the parliamentary Financial and Economic Affairs Committee meeting in February.

National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim described Tuesday’s meeting as good and frank, indicating the Parliament remains firm on its stand that the government must be committed to the agreement reached in February. He affirmed the Parliament is determined to face the economic challenges without harming the citizens.

He pointed out this can be achieved through the proposal of the committee to support citizens with limited income such that they will not be affected by price hikes.

Asked about the announcement of the government that the decision will be implemented on the first of September, Al- Ghanim asserted, “It is their decision. For us, we have been asking for the implementation of the committee’s proposal since the beginning of the session and we will maintain our position on the issue.”

On the other hand, State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammed Al-Abdullah disclosed the government has explained to the MPs the reasons behind the gasoline price hike and its consequences. “We have emphasized that such a step will not affect the citizens,” he asserted. He argued Kuwait must keep up with other countries in the region in terms of fiscal or monetary policies, considering Kuwait is the last member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to take this step since the other countries did so in January and February this year.

During the meeting, the government listened to several parliamentary proposals, including that of the committee which called for subsidized fuel among others, the minister added.

Moreover, MP Hamoud Al- Hamdan revealed each side expressed their points of view. He said the governmental panel told the MPs that it is ready to deal with any increase in the prices of goods following the gasoline price hike. He confirmed the government side also expressed its willingness to cooperate with the Parliament while promising to study the report of the committee.

He added the MPs presented several options to support citizens such as the distribution of vouchers or ration cards. MP Abdullah Al-Mayouf added they suggested solutions to the government based on the committee’s study, citing the rationalization of expenditures and implementation of economic reforms without any additional burden on the shoulders of citizens.

Source: Arab Times

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