MPs approve extra KD 150m for Eurofighter warplanes; New MP, minister sworn in – Housing body gets more authority

KUWAIT: MPs attend a parliament session at the National Assembly yesterday. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat
KUWAIT: MPs attend a parliament session at the National Assembly yesterday. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: The National Assembly yesterday approved a law allowing the government to withdraw KD 150 million from state reserves to support the defense ministry. Defense Minister Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah said the money will be used to make an advance payment for the purchase of Eurofighter warplanes. Head of the budgets committee MP Adnan Abdulsamad said the value of the warplanes deal is KD 2.6 billion. In January, the Assembly approved additional funds of KD 3 billion for military purchases over the next 10 years. The Eurofighter consortium said in September that Kuwait had agreed to buy 28 Typhoon jets.

Also, newly-appointed Minister of Electricity and Water Ahmad Al-Jassar took the constitutional oath before the Assembly yesterday in accordance with article 91 of the Kuwaiti constitution. Newly-elected MP Ali Al-Khamees also took the constitutional oath after winning the only seat in the third constituency’s by-election that fell vacant with the death of late MP Nabeel Al-Fadhl. The parliament elected Khamees to replace Fadhl on various committees including the legislative and legal affairs committee, as well as others concerned with public utilities, youth and sport.

In other business, the Assembly passed a draft law adding a new paragraph to article 5 of law 47/1993 regarding housing law in the second deliberation, sending it to the government for further discussions and approval. The bill is primarily intended to relieve the Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) of prior scrutiny by the Audit Bureau and the law on public tenders for five years ending March 31, 2021. But, it has to report its financial situation to the Assembly annually. It also aims to enable the PAHW to speed up the implementation of housing projects mentioned in its program of action, with its activities to remain under the Audit Bureau’s subsequent control.

By B Izzak

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