Panel reviews 2019-2020 budget

KUWAIT: The parliament’s budgets and final statements committee yesterday held a meeting to review the new state’s budget of the new fiscal year (2019-2020), the final statement of the awqaf secretariat general and the related State Audit Bureau and auditors’ remarks. The committee’s chairman MP Adnan Abdulsamad said the meeting was also attended by representatives from the finance ministry, the awqaf secretariat general, the State Audit Bureau and Civil Service Commission (CSC). Abdulsamad added that the finance ministry reviewed the proposed oil price used in the budget and expected payroll increases, adding that the committee was not satisfied with the review, which excluded the ministry’s maximum proposed revenues and expenses and some other data included in the budget. Abdulsamad noted that the finance ministry saw the proposals made by government bodies were too exaggerated and far from following instructions concerning sustainability and controlling expenditure.

Solving problems
Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for Housing Affairs Jenan Bushehri held several meetings with Ministry of Public Works assistant undersecretaries to discuss various problems facing projects executed in their respective sectors and work on resolving them, said informed sources, noting that the problems discussed included accelerating work pace of various projects, gravel on various roads and delayed road projects.

New KU branch
Kuwait University’s (KU) supreme council approved using the land allocated to it in Sabah Al-Ahmad City as a new branch for KU until the law of government universities is passed, well-informed sources said. The sources added that the government plans to build more universities to expand university education, adding that more government universities will be soon launched after KU moves in the Shadadiya campus, using its current campuses for a new university and building a third one in Sabah Al-Ahmad. The sources said some councilmembers expressed concerns about building a new university in Sabah Al-Ahmad because the allocated land is located in a pathway where torrents occur.

Power grid upgrade
The Ministry of Electricity and Water will soon launch the largest study ever conducted in two decades to determine the power grid requirements until 2035, said informed sources, noting that the study will be done by a specialized international consultancy firm. The sources added that Central Agency for Public Tenders has already awarded the consultancy contract with the aim of providing the needed infrastructure to expand the power grid and meet the growing demand for electricity resulting from building new cities and population growth. The sources also explained that this comes within a strategy to achieve the New Kuwait 2035 vision all ministries are working on through developmental projects. Separately, the Ministry of Public Works extended the deadline to file bids for a consultancy contract for the second phase of Kuwait International Airport project till Feb 6, 2019 instead of the previous date of Nov 25, 2018, which had also been extended to Jan 8, 2019. Notably, the companies invited to file bids include CH2M (USA), EGIS (France), Hill International (USA), ENECO (Spain), Louis Berger (USA), Parsons (USA), NC-Lavalin (Canada) and Turner & Townsend (USA). The contract includes providing consultancy for T2, which is currently under construction.

By A Saleh

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