Finance minister denies spending without records
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.