KUWAIT: MP Safa Al-Hashem criticized the government for saying that solving the state’s demographic imbalance problem would take 20 years, and stressed that this statement is unacceptable. “The time we need to solve the problem is three or four years, and we will never allow it to remain for 20 years, as we do have the minds capable of fixing the problem,” she said, wondering about the role of the Supreme Planning Council, especially with the reservations made about the appointment of some of its members, including a former female minister and another member who had been reappointed although he had been a member of the council for decades.
Hashem praised the actual implementation of the health fee hikes on expats, saying that it resulted in much comfort for citizens at public hospitals. Hashem also demanded discussing the fuel price increases in parliament, especially since it is a public issue, calling for more pressure to be put on the government to give fuel coupons to citizens with limited and medium income.
Meanwhile, MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei called for regulating and having more control on the issuance of driving licenses to non-Kuwaitis to make sure they match conditions and regulations. Tabtabaei suggested establishing a special committee to supervise the process of issuing and renewing non-Kuwaitis’ licenses, exempting drivers included in article 20 of the ministerial decision number 640/1987 (family drivers). On another concern, Tabtabaei announced filing a parliamentary inquiry against Minister of Commerce and Industry and Acting Minister of State for Youth Affairs Khaled Al-Roudhan pertaining Kuwaiti companies listed on the stock exchange.
The Cabinet urged 11 ministers to report to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Anas Al-Saleh concerning the measures they had taken to collect overdue state dues and the schedule followed to do so, especially since the sum adds up to around KD 1 billion. Informed sources said that Saleh is supposed to have already received these reports as the Cabinet had asked to do so within two weeks effective Sept 18. The sources added that the Cabinet’s decision came following the finance ministry’s reports that it had repeatedly contacted various ministries in this regard without any response.
The Ministry of Electricity and Water’s (MEW) 2017-2018 budget showed promotions and incentives increased by KD 20,759,000, as the current sum allocated would be KD 241,954,000 compared to KD 221,195,000 in 2016-2017.
Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) decided to sign two contracts with a total value of KD 72.5 million to charter helicopters and build a huge oil pipeline at Burgan oil field. Informed sources explained that the pipeline will cost KD 56.6 million and that the project would be executed by the Mechanical Engineering and Contracting Company as part of a package of projects the company is executing at Burgan field to develop its capacity to 4 million barrels by 2020. The sources added that the second contract with a total value of KD 15.9 million was signed with Falcon Aviation Company to rent 2017 model helicopters for five years to be used in ferrying KOC employees to various sites within Kuwait.
Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar Al-Luaibi said negotiations with Kuwait to export Iraqi gas instead of paying compensations for the Iraqi invasion are in the final stages. Luaibi added that the project goes back to the 1990s when both countries had an agreement to export 200 million cubic feet a day. He added that prices were still need to be agreed upon and that Iraq had offered its prices and was still waiting for Kuwait’s response.
By A Saleh, Staff Writer