Fi­nance min­is­ter de­nies spend­ing with­out records

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE - By B Iz­zak

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Anas Al-Saleh de­nied yes­ter­day ac­cu­sa­tions that as much as KD 3.8 bil­lion in pub­lic funds had been spent il­le­gally by the gov­ern­ment with­out show­ing any records for the money spent. He said re­ports about the funds are false and in­cor­rect. Saleh’s state­ments came days after sev­eral law­mak­ers charged that the gov­ern­ment had spent that amount of money with­out show­ing any records. The law­mak­ers also threat­ened to grill the prime min­is­ter at the start of the next As­sem­bly term in Oc­to­ber if the gov­ern­ment does not pro­vide con­vinc­ing clar­i­fi­ca­tion over the is­sue.

The al­le­ga­tions re­volve around an im­por­tant item in the state bud­get on gov­ern­ment in­ven­to­ries. The min­is­ter said the fi­nance min­istry has sub­mit­ted pro­pos­als to the con­cerned au­thor­i­ties to up­grade the ef­fi­ciency of ac­count­ing to be able to con­trol in­ven­to­ries more ef­fec­tively. The min­is­ter made the state­ments dur­ing a meet­ing at the Na­tional As­sem­bly of­fice. MP Aw­dah Al-Aw­dah said that the in­ven­tory ac­counts must be sub­jected to grad­ual set­tle­ment after the ap­proval of the fi­nance min­istry.

Mean­while, MP Khaled Al-Shatti yes­ter­day asked For­eign Min­is­ter Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah about min­istry pro­grams to re­ha­bil­i­tate Kuwaitis who re­turn to the coun­try after join­ing ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions abroad. The lawmaker asked the min­is­ter if the gov­ern­ment has a list of names of Kuwaitis and bedoons (state­less peo­ple) who be­long to ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions and de­manded their names and ad­dresses. He also re­quested a copy of the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gram that will be pro­vided to the re­turnees.

Sep­a­rately, MP Khalil Al-Saleh yes­ter­day warned the fi­nance min­is­ter about award­ing the con­tract for the sec­ond phase of the North Al-Zour Power Plant project be­cause the pro­ce­dure in­volves sus­pected ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties. He said that al­though the ten­der has sev­eral tech­ni­cal prob­lems, the min­istry ap­pears to be headed to award the project. The lawmaker vowed that MPs will not al­low the award­ing of the faulty con­tract.

The Na­tional Demo­cratic Al­liance mean­while crit­i­cized yes­ter­day re­ported plans by a num­ber of MPs to pro­pose laws that would in­crim­i­nate join­ing po­lit­i­cal groups, and stressed that such a plan vi­o­lates the con­sti­tu­tion. The al­liance called on law­mak­ers to reg­u­late the work of po­lit­i­cal groups and ap­prove a law that rec­og­nizes po­lit­i­cal par­ties.

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