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MPs urge govt to review diesel subsidy cuts
January 8, 2015, 8:32 am
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The Ministry of Commerce and Industry as of Tuesday issued citations to over 200 bodies, including companies, factories and individuals for raising the prices of their commodities subsequent to lifting of the subsidy on diesel.

The ministry has since closed down 12 establishments-a restaurant and a garage on the same violation, reports Al- Rai daily. Reliable sources said the ministry filed citations against all cement companies and plants that operate by diesel and also resolved the problem of manual bakeries, indicating the bakeries resumed business on Tuesday after citation was issued against the carrier who is proven to have smuggled the diesel.

They indicated the ministry received complaints from some institutions which citations were issued against, and they checked with the Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) to present official documents proving they actually consume over 3000 liters of diesel per month and also produce a national product, but they received imprecise responses from the company in that regard.

They added the ministry made promises to award subsidies to the companies that buy diesel within 3-5 days, and for the previous days, coupons were distributed to companies that were committed to their prices without imposing any artificial hike.

On the other hand, sources said KNPC dispatched a letter to the concerned authorities about a month ago to inquire about the decision to lift subsidy from diesel and kerosene, and the mechanism of implementation, but it received no reply. In the same context, sources said a number of lawmakers have lamented the decision to raise diesel and kerosene prices, and government forgetting that parliament had recommended the mechanism of preserving subsidy on diesel should be thought over.

They added report of the committee for protecting public funds indicated that 90 percent of the diesel produced here is smuggled outside because of the huge difference in prices, particularly in the neighboring countries. They further stated that diesel smuggling operations are as result of weak surveillance at ports and borders.

Meanwhile, Municipal Council Member Abdullah Al-Kandari and the Chairperson of Kuwait Transparency Society (KTS) Salah Al-Ghazali stated that lack of law enforcement is the main cause of deterioration in the Municipality, reports Al-Qabas daily In a recent discussion at the headquarters of Kuwait Transparence Society, he wondered how the country could achieve the desired development and growth on the basis of rules that are more than fifty years old.

Al-Kandari pointed out that the Municipal Council looked into the report presented by KTS that discussed the problems faced by citizens due to electronic and structural problems in the Municipality, adding the difficulties are attributed to lack of implementation of the proposals submitted by the council.

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