KUWAIT: Head of the national assembly budgets committee MP Adnan Abdusamad said on Thursday that the panel has completed the revision of 12 government departments for the current fiscal year and made cuts worth KD 53 million in cooperation with the finance ministry. He said that the panel has approved the budgets and final accounts of five departments and sent them to the national assembly for discussions.
The lawmaker said the panel also approved the budgets of four other departments but rejected their final accounts. It however said it was ready to re-discuss them if the government pledges to tackle remarks made by the State Audit Bureau. The committee also rejected the budgets and final accounts of three departments because the ministers and officials responsible for them had pledged last year to deal with Audit Bureau remarks and still failed to do so.
Abdulsamad said that big remarks have been made against those authorities and so far the panel saw no serious attempts to rectify their problems. It is left to the national assembly to decide on their budgets, he said. In the meantime, head of the public funds protection committee MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji said the panel has started its probe into alleged financial violations committed by Kuwait Real Estate Group (Kuwait and Bahrain Projects Company).
Turaiji sent a series of questions about the issue to Finance Minister Anas Al-Saleh demanding the names of the board of directors of the company and Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) share in the real estate group and the group’s stake in the company. He also inquired about the legal justification for the chairman of the company to carry out legal changes that led to transferring 99 percent of the Kuwait and Bahrain Projects Company shares into his personal ownership.
Turaiji said the finance ministry formed an investigation committee a year ago to probe the issue. He asked for the results of the investigation and to state the reasons for any delay and if there is any suspected conflict of interest for some of the committee members. MP Faisal Al-Duwaisan meanwhile asked the minister of electricity and water about reports that the value of a contract at Doha power plant more than doubled from the cost put by the Central Tenders Committee (CTC). He said that the CTC put the cost of the contract at KD 54 million while the final payment made to the contractor was KD 117 million.
By B Izzak