KUWAIT: A three-MP investigation committee formed to follow up issues raised during two grillings of Prime Minister HH Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah decided yesterday to summon four ministers to question them on various issues, the head of the committee said. MP Jamaan Al-Harbash also said the panel has drawn up a mechanism for its work and began that by sending 20 questions to the prime minister to ask for details over the issues raised during the two grillings held several weeks ago.

The prime minister was subjected to two quizzes in a same parliamentary session in May over allegations of squandering public funds and failure to check rampant corruption, in addition to financial and administrative violations. He was grilled in a marathon session by five opposition MPs, and the questioning ended by forming the three-man committee to probe the allegations.

Harbash said that the committee decided to summon the ministers of social affairs and labor, defense, finance and electricity and water to question them on the allegations made during the grillings. The lawmaker said the committee will next week meet Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and State Minister for Economic Affairs Hind Al-Sabeeh to discuss the issue of unemployment among Kuwaitis and the demographic structure, which has been the target of strong criticism by lawmakers because of the large rise in the number of expatriates.

In the following week, Finance Minister Anas Al-Saleh will be invited to discuss the issue of several state institutions holding huge amounts of funds and failing to transfer them to the state treasury as required by the law. The minister will be also asked about allegations that the government has spent as much as KD 3.8 billion illegally without providing any records on how the money was spent. In the same meeting, the committee will discuss with Electricity and Water Minister Essam Al-Marzouq the implications of hiking the prices of power, water and petrol, and its impact on citizens and proposed solutions, Harbash said.

Later, the committee will summon Defense Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled Al-Sabah to inquire about the controversy surrounding the multi-billion-dollar deal to purchase Eurofighter warplanes, he said. Harbash expected that the panel will complete its work during the summer recess of the National Assembly, which is due to return in October.

By B Izzak