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Legislator queries Yes, No on lifting of fuel subsidies
July 30, 2015, 10:30 am
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The parliamentary Education, Culture and Guidance Affairs Committee discussed Wednesday several issues related to appointments and promotions in Kuwait University (KU) and the Public Authority for Applied Education (PAAET). Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Committee Chairman MP Auda Al-Ruwaei explained some of those hired through a court ruling might face problems in terms of promotions. He affirmed the committee will continue discussions until the issues are resolved in order to serve the interests of the concerned staff in both academic institutions.

Talking about the scholarship scheme and the proposed unification of scholarship bodies, Al-Ruwaei disclosed the Higher Education Team is currently working on the outline of the unification of scholarship bodies in KU and PAAET. He affirmed this will be discussed in the upcoming committee meetings.

On the other hand, committee member MPAbdul Rahman Al-Jeeran pointed out this is part of efforts to reform the educational sector. He revealed this came after the Parliament instructed the committee to look into files of scholarships and appointments in the two institutions from 2010 to 2015. He said the step being taken by the committee is just a way of correcting appointment and scholarship procedures. He praised the KU and PAAET officials for understanding the role of the committee, indicating the latter is not a party in disputes or compromises since it acts as a regulatory and legislative body keen on applying the law objectively.

He also stressed the need to take into consideration the committee’s recommendations regarding the appointments and scholarships, “otherwise we have no choice but to use our constitutional tools to put things in the right perspective.” He said the committee will submit its report to the Parliament at the beginning of the next legislative round. He added that even though the irregularities are not limited to scholarships and appointments, these issues must be addressed immediately because of their impact on the performance of teachers.

In another development, MP Majed Mousah claimed the policy adopted by Finance Minister Anas Al-Saleh to correct the way of public spending in a bid to stop wastage of public funds is confusing. He then urged the minister to present a clear vision in solving the problem to avoid suspicions. He wondered why the minister denied that the government intends to lift subsidies on gasoline while Ministry of Finance Undersecretary Khalifa Hamada confirmed it. He asserted this raises a lot of question marks on the actual motive of the government.

He said if the motive is to address the budget deficit issue, then the focus should be on unnecessary expenses rather than touching the pockets of citizens. He also criticized the ministry for asking consultants from outside to conduct a study on lifting subsidies. He said it would have been better if the ministry focused on correcting the public spending path to get rid of unnecessary expenses in a number of ministries and government agencies. Furthermore, Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and State Minister for Planning and Development Hind Al- Sabeeh said every minister has the right to use his constitutional tools such as interpellation.

This is in response to the queries and threat of MP Mohammed Al- Anezi that he will grill the minister. She lauded the MP for his determination in grilling her, stressing the MP would not have been adamant in doing so if he is not keen on implementing reforms. She urged the lawmaker to present documents proving the alleged corruption in her ministry, so they can work together in solving the problems as she wants nothing more than to enforce the law properly. She reiterated that she is keen on protecting the rights of all employees under her umbrella and she has not tolerated any form of injustice since the day she took over both ministries. She asserted all departments are open to receiving complaints regarding malpractices, injustice and corruption while conducting investigations to solve problems from the roots.

Source: Arab Times

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