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June 20, 2019
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Lawmakers criticize but then comfortably approve 16 budgets

Incapable bureaucracy prevents authorities from functioning: MP Damkhi

KUWAIT: Lawmakers yesterday strongly criticized the government over its performance in a large number of public departments and independent authorities but still passed their budgets with a comfortable majority.

The assembly passed following a long-day debate the 2019/2020 budgets for a number of authorities including the controversial agriculture authority, the sports authority, Kuwait Municipality, Zakat House, the Public Authority for Civil Information and others.
Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem said the current term will come to a close on July 3 and the assembly must hold special sessions starting June 25 to approve other budgets including the state budget which is normally passed on the last session.

KUWAIT: MPs surround National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem during a parliament session yesterday. —Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Head of the budgets committee MP Adnan Abdulsamad said that the government wanted to abolish the sports and Holy Quran authorities but later withdrew its request, adding that the government has not made its decision on the fate of the roads authority.

MP Adel Al-Damkhi said that in the face of flabby ministries, authorities are established but are then prevented from functioning by an incapable bureaucracy. He said the government renews the terms of undersecretaries and assistant undersecretaries who repeat the same mistakes, adding there is an administrative weakness and an absence in coordination among ministries.

MP Mohammad Al-Dallal called for rejecting the budget of the agricultural authority saying it does not present or serve food security but only grants rest places for some influential people. The lawmaker said the cabinet normally supports any ministry locked in any dispute with the State Audit Bureau despite the many comments made by the Bureau against that particular ministry.

MP Salah Khorshid said that 70 percent of the employees at the Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects are non-Kuwaitis, while MP Safa Al-Hashem said the authority is suspected to be involved in a theft totaling KD 1 billion. MP Osama Al-Shaheen said that supervisory bodies make plenty remarks on government ministries and agencies “but we don’t see anyone going to jail.”

By B Izzak

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