As­sem­bly probe panel sum­mons four min­is­ters

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE - By B Iz­zak

A three-MP in­ves­ti­ga­tion com­mit­tee formed to fol­low up is­sues raised dur­ing two grillings of Prime Min­is­ter HH Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah de­cided yes­ter­day to sum­mon four min­is­ters to ques­tion them on var­i­ous is­sues, the head of the com­mit­tee said. MP Ja­maan Al-Har­bash also said the panel has drawn up a mech­a­nism for its work and be­gan that by send­ing 20 ques­tions to the prime min­is­ter to ask for de­tails over the is­sues raised dur­ing the two grillings held sev­eral weeks ago.

The prime min­is­ter was sub­jected to two quizzes in a same par­lia­men­tary ses­sion in May over al­le­ga­tions of squan­der­ing pub­lic funds and fail­ure to check ram­pant cor­rup­tion, in ad­di­tion to fi­nan­cial and ad­min­is­tra­tive vi­o­la­tions. He was grilled in a marathon ses­sion by five op­po­si­tion MPs, and the ques­tion­ing ended by form­ing the three-man com­mit­tee to probe the al­le­ga­tions.

Har­bash said that the com­mit­tee de­cided to sum­mon the min­is­ters of so­cial af­fairs and la­bor, de­fense, fi­nance and elec­tric­ity and wa­ter to ques­tion them on the al­le­ga­tions made dur­ing the grillings. The law­maker said the com­mit­tee will next week meet Min­is­ter of So­cial Af­fairs and La­bor and State Min­is­ter for Economic Af­fairs Hind Al-Sabeeh to discuss the is­sue of un­em­ploy­ment among Kuwaitis and the de­mo­graphic struc­ture, which has been the tar­get of strong crit­i­cism by law­mak­ers be­cause of the large rise in the num­ber of ex­pa­tri­ates.

In the fol­low­ing week, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Anas Al-Saleh will be in­vited to discuss the is­sue of sev­eral state institutions hold­ing huge amounts of funds and fail­ing to trans­fer them to the state trea­sury as re­quired by the law. The min­is­ter will be also asked about al­le­ga­tions that the gov­ern­ment has spent as much as KD 3.8 bil­lion il­le­gally without pro­vid­ing any records on how the money was spent. In the same meet­ing, the com­mit­tee will discuss with Elec­tric­ity and Wa­ter Min­is­ter Es­sam Al-Mar­zouq the im­pli­ca­tions of hik­ing the prices of power, wa­ter and petrol, and its impact on cit­i­zens and pro­posed so­lu­tions, Har­bash said.

Later, the com­mit­tee will sum­mon De­fense Min­is­ter Sheikh Mo­ham­mad Al-Khaled Al-Sabah to in­quire about the con­tro­versy sur­round­ing the multi-bil­lion-dol­lar deal to pur­chase Eurofighter war­planes, he said. Har­bash ex­pected that the panel will com­plete its work dur­ing the sum­mer re­cess of the Na­tional As­sem­bly, which is due to re­turn in Oc­to­ber.

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