Early retirement law to be debated next session

Abdullah Al-Turaiqi

KUWAIT: Former MP Abdullah Al-Turaiqi yesterday officially asked the public prosecutor to resume investigations into the Dow Chemical case after it was shelved over a year ago. Turaiqi said on Twitter that he made the official request because he was the main witness in the case that cost Kuwait to pay a fine exceeding $2 billion after unilaterally revoking a multi-billion-dollar contract with the giant US petrochemicals manufacturer.

The national assembly had launched an investigation into the whole affairs and Turaiqi was the head of the investigation committee that came up with a report on the issue. The public prosecution had shelved investigation into the case and did not press charges in December 2017 for a lack of evidence.

But the criminal court has recently scrapped the decision to shelve investigation and ordered the case to be sent back to the public prosecution to resume its investigation. There had been accusations by MPs against former government officials and top oil executives of committing violations that cost the country the massive fine.

Meanwhile, head of the national assembly financial and economic affairs committee MP Salah Khorshed said yesterday that the panel will complete the controversial early retirement law soon and expected the law to be debated in the assembly's next session on January 30.

The law has undergone several changes since it was approved overwhelmingly by lawmakers in last term but was then rejected by the government. When it came back to the assembly, it underwent some amendments that a number of lawmakers claim have destroyed its original objectives.

The law initially aimed at encouraging Kuwaiti civil servants to seek retirements five years ahead of time when they reach 50 years or complete 25 years of service for men and when female employees reach 45 years or complete 20 years of service.

Now, the government introduced a precondition for that which is a two-percent deduction of pension for life for those who want to avail of the early retirement. Some MPs said they will oppose the new form of the law.

By B Izzak