KUWAIT: Chairman of the parliament’s priorities committee MP Yousef Al-Zalzalah said that he was surprised at what he described as some attempts to frighten people with privatization, saying that it was internationally adopted by many countries to support their respective economies. “Privatization in the oil sector will not include oil wells and refineries,” he stressed, explaining that it would only include some oil-related industries and that this would help make use of oil in establishing local industries and factories instead of only exporting crude oil.
Speaking to visitors at his diwaniya in Dasma, Zalzalah stressed his concern over the retirees’ health insurance issue and held the State Audit Bureau responsible for delaying the project of retirees’ health cards although the finance ministry had already allocated a KD 86 million budget for the project including KD 20 million for this year alone. Zalzalah also said that the committee had met representatives from the health and finance ministries as well as from the State Audit Bureau to discuss the delay and found that the State Audit Bureau was behind halting the project over a lack of budget.
Commenting on the domestic helpers’ company law that was recently approved by the cabinet, Zalzalah stressed that Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) should have formed the company, but the project was rejected by the government until further studies are made. “I do hope the study is over within the maximum of two weeks because Ramadan is approaching and some labor offices have already started taking advantage of the growing demand and increased the cost of bringing in a housemaid to over KD 1,500 in some cases,” he underlined.
Commenting on MP Abdulhameed Dashti’s leave from parliament, Zalzalah stressed that a lawmaker has the constitutional right to apply for leave. Zalzalah added that the government’s economic reform plan included recommendations that had been repeatedly made by international financial and economic organizations, such as the World Bank, that recommended immediate economic decisions to avoid reducing Kuwait’s credit rating. “Many of the points mentioned in the plan had already been approved in 2010 parliament,” he stressed.
South Mutlaa City
In other news, Hill International Construction Company has won a tender to provide consultancy for running the South Mutlaa City development project, Kuwait’s first smart city. It is expected that the housing authority would sign an $83 million worth contract with Hill before the end of this month. Notably, the project is due to be finished by 2019 to include 30,000 housing units and accommodate 400,000 people.
Meanwhile yesterday, Farwaniya municipality’s director Mohammed Al-Aradi stressed that all violating cabins in Farwaniya restaurants and cafés had been removed in March and April and stressed that the ones that still exist were those matching municipality rules and regulations. “Monitoring practices inside those cabins is the Ministry of Interior’s responsibility,” he stressed. Notably, a few bloggers had circulated tweets claiming that some youth were involved in vice activities in some Ardiya cafes and restaurants.
By A Saleh