The Parliament on Wednesday approved the report of the Budget and Final Accounts Committee on 26 final account drafts of ministries and other government departments, as well as the attached and independent institutions for fiscals 2011/2012 and 2012/2013.
The legislature also approved the committee’s report about the proposal to link the budgets of National Fund for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) for fiscal 2015/2016, Public Manpower Authority for fiscals 2014/2015 and 2015/2016, and Public-Private Partnership Authority for the same fiscal years.
Meanwhile, the Parliament discussed the committee’s report on the final accounts of the Public Authority for Anti-Corruption for fiscals 2013/2014 and 2015/2016; in addition to the budgets of Public Authority for Handicapped Affairs for fiscals 2013/2014 and 2015/2016, Public Authority for Printing and Publishing the Holy Quran and Hadith of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) for the same fiscal years, Kuwait Credit Bank and the Central Bank of Kuwait.
During the discussion on the final accounts, MPs voiced their concern over the activities of some governmental bodies. MP Auda Al-Ruwai’e challenged the government to name just one project which served the interests of Kuwaiti youths. He pointed out that even half of the KD2 billion budget allocated for SME’s would have done wonders in other countries, but not in Kuwait.
Responding to the lawmaker, Minister of Oil and State Minister for National Assembly Affairs Dr Ali Al-Omair asserted the Ministry of Oil prioritizes the Kuwaiti youths in the recruitment process. He affirmed a plan has been placed to increase the number of Kuwaiti youths employed in the oil sector. He said the number of employees in the sector reached 20,000 and 80 percent of them are Kuwaitis.
Nonetheless, the MPs insisted that millions of Kuwaiti dinars are being squandered due to the incompetence of government officials. MP Saleh Ashour even pointed out to those who attended the session that majority of the ministers were absent during discussion on such a significant issue. He stressed the concerned ministers were supposed to be part of the discussion in order to note down the com-ments of lawmakers. Agreeing with his colleague, MP Hamdan Al-Azmi said all ministers were present during discussions on final accounts in the previous legislatures but this was not the case in Wednesday’s session.
He attributed the situation to the weak stance of the incumbent Assembly which, he argued, succeeded only in pushing out legislation while neglecting its supervisory role. He stressed if the government truly considers the Parliament a partner in handling national affairs, “even H.H. the Prime Minister would have been present at the session.” On the other hand, MP Abdullah Al- Turaiji asserted the head of the Public Authority for Anti-Corruption is known for his honesty and capabilities. He said this is evident in the fact that all recruitments in the authority were in accordance to the law; hence, the need to approve its final account.