KUWAIT: National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem yesterday said that a request by several MPs to debate the government’s economic reform package has been placed on the agenda of the Jan 10 session for discussion. MPs had demanded that the government should explain the measures included in the package, which was designed by the government in the face of falling oil revenues and to plug the budget deficit. Opposition MPs have vowed that they will strongly oppose any measure by the government to raise charges on services or to tax citizens to boost non-oil revenues.
Meanwhile, opposition MP Al-Humaidi Al-Subaei said he will demand the formation of a committee to probe the case of the death of former lawmaker Falah Al-Sawwagh, who died a few months ago while undergoing surgery. Subaei said the probe has become necessary after new Health Minister Jamal Al-Harbi referred the case to the public prosecution to investigate suspected medical negligence that led to Sawwagh’s death. MPs paid tributes to Sawwagh during the opening session of the Assembly on Sunday.
Harbi also said that a committee has been formed to review decisions to send Kuwaiti patients for medical treatment abroad and establish if the decisions were in line with the law. The minister said that if the probe finds that some people who didn’t deserve it were sent, the officials responsible for sending them will be penalized.
Rapporteur of the Assembly’s financial and economic affairs committee MP Safa Al-Hashem said the panel discussed yesterday the case of 38 Kuwait Airways pilots who were forced to do other government jobs as part of implementing the KAC privatization law. Hashem said that the pilots and the minister of housing and utilities attended the meeting to see how the pilots can be reinstated.
She said that KAC management has applied the law in a wrong way and the pilots should not be forced to leave the national carrier. Hashem said that the minister asked for time until Dec 25 to discuss the issue and meet with the panel. She said that a number of MPs will file to amend two articles in the law related to appointments, adding she was not worried about the opposition of the administration.
By B Izzak