KUWAIT: MP Faisal Al-Kandari called on the commerce and industry ministry yesterday to tighten its monitoring of consumer prices in the country as the finance ministry prepares to raise charges on state properties. He said the proposed government measure will impact prices of commodities negatively and urged the finance ministry to take steps to curb any increase in consumer prices if it raises charges on public properties.
Kandari said he totally rejects any impact on low-income people from the planned government measure on property prices, adding that the National Assembly’s financial and economic affairs committee has already informed the government of its rejection of any increase that impacts poor people. The lawmaker said that the hiking of charges on public services will lead to increases in prices of commodities and goods and will eventually impact low income sections. Kandari said that compliance to the constitution requires MPs to face any artificial and unjustified hike in consumer prices and accordingly urged monitoring of prices.
Meanwhile, the issue of leading cleric and preacher Sheikh Othman Al-Khamees triggered controversy between lawmakers as MP Sultan Al-Shemmari said that Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Minister Yaqoub Al-Sane denied that Khamees had been suspended from giving sermons or lectures at mosques. The reported action was taken after the criminal court last week fined Khamees KD 20,000 for threatening national unity and insulting Shiites.
Several MPs had called the decision illegal and urged the minister to scrap it. Shemmari said that Sane informed him that Khamees has not been banned from giving lectures and that there is no intention to do that. The lawmaker said that he was pleased with what the minister said, adding that the case of Sheikh Khamees is still in court.
Islamist MP Humoud Al-Hamdan praised Sheikh Khamees and said that the minister of awqaf promised that he would resolve the issue. He did not provide further details. MP Abdulhameed Dashti however called on MPs not to oppose the minister’s action against Khamees because the cleric is charged with undermining national unity. Dashti said that when the minister issues a decision to suspend someone like Sheikh Khamees, he should be supported rather than opposed. Dashti also criticized an unnamed MP whom he said had visited Aden in Yemen. Dashti said the lawmaker had provoked the feelings of a large section of the Kuwaiti people by the visit.
Meanwhile, MP Ahmad Lari said the Assembly will submit to the government today a report on the legislations passed by the Assembly that have not been implemented by the government. The issue was discussed in the Assembly two weeks ago and it was agreed that the Assembly office will discuss it with the government.
By B Izzak