Finance panel approves key amendments to tenders law

KUWAIT: The National Assembly’s financial and economic affairs committee yesterday introduced key amendments to the tenders law which require forming technical committees for the purchase of arms for the army, police and national guard. Head of the committee MP Faisal Al-Shaye said the amendment was proposed by the Audit Bureau to regulate the purchase of arms and military equipment. The Cabinet will issue the necessary decisions to form such committees and will determine the mechanism of their operations, Shaye said.

Other amendments to the law obliges the Central Tenders Committee, which awards state projects, to accept the decision of the petitions committee whose decisions currently are consultative, he said. Under the new amendments, which still need to be approved by the Assembly, priority in awarding state projects is given to companies listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange. No new projects will be awarded to companies that are having problems with other projects underway until they solve the problems and complete the projects, Shaye said.

MP Ahmad Al-Azemi said the committee discussed his proposal to award projects worth KD 20 million and more to listed companies only. The tenders law is one of the most important legislations that governs billions of dinars in state projects every year.

Rapporteur of the Assembly’s priorities committee MP Ahmad Lari said yesterday the panel discussed with the acting electricity and water minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah the ministry’s implementation of projects. He said under the 2015/2016 plan, the ministry has 38 projects worth KD 368 million, of which KD 218 million has been spent so far.
Meanwhile, National Assembly Speaker Marzouk Al-Ghanem yesterday congratulated the newly-elected MP Ali Al-Khamees, who won the by-election seat to replace late MP Nabil Al-Fadhl. The liberal National Democratic Forum however strongly criticized what it called sectarian practices that marred the by-election and accused Islamist movements of all sects of spoiling the election. The NDF said in a statement that raising Sunni-Shiite sectarian divisions has become an effective means of winning Assembly elections. The forum said that the single-vote system has proven once more it is the best environment for sectarian-motivated elections in the country.

By B Izzak

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