Following the parliament’s decision to treat Kuwaitis living in investment buildings (apartments) equally to those living in private residence areas (houses) and exempting them from electricity and water consumption price increases, a number of real estate experts said the decision was illogical and that it might open the door for manipulations and violations.
Board chairman of Sadeer Trading and Contracting Co and Kuwait Chamber of Commerce member Tareq Al-Mutawwa said that the decision was not feasible and that no country in the world imposes such laws. “It is unreasonable to charge expats differently from citizens for their electricity and water consumption though they both live in the same building,” he stressed, noting that such decisions might lead to various manipulations and endless problems.
Mutawwa added that the investment sector was not qualified to put such decisions in effect because most buildings have only one electricity meter or gauge for the entire building. “We do realize that the aim of the new prices is to rationalize consumption and spending…but how can that be done by exempting private residence areas?” he wondered, noting that MPs were only after pleasing their voters and the people at the expense of Kuwait’s best interest. “Logically speaking, citizens must pay the cost of their electricity and water consumption, therefore, I believe that the consumption categories would be the ideal system to be used,” he noted.
Meanwhile, real estate expert Tawfiq Al-Jarrah said the decision and that of lifting subsidies ought to be studied carefully to avoid creating imbalances and problems that would affect the sector and the entire state. Jarrah added that many expats live in private residential areas and wondered how they would pay for their consumption. “This decision might turn private residence areas into investment ones,” he warned, calling for unifying consumption prices for everybody and paying citizens special financial subsidies.