MPs threaten to grill ministers over petrol hike

KUWAIT: A number of MPs have vowed to grill ministers over the government’s decision to hike petrol prices without compensating Kuwaiti citizens or taking sufficient measures to prevent prices of commodities to rise. Lawmakers are waiting for the start of the next parliamentary term early in October to start submitting their grillings against the ministers of finance, commerce and industry and others, with MP Ali Al-Khamees vowing to do “whatever it takes” against the petrol increase.

The government has so far ignored appeals and calls by lawmakers to either postpone the petrol price increase, which went into effect on Thursday, or compensate Kuwaiti citizens. MPs Khamees and Faisal Al-Kandari yesterday joined a number of other lawmakers in insisting that they will file the grillings when the next parliamentary term opens, if the government refuses to compensate citizens.

Khamees said the government utilized the summer recess of the National Assembly to carry out the petrol price increase, adding that MPs are waiting for the next term to start to question ministers. MP Khalil Abul said the timing of the decision to hike petrol prices was wrong, adding that the decision was taken without any credible economic studies. The lawmaker said that the government should search for viable alternatives to prevent citizens from being harmed as a result of the decision.

He said that the government should provide citizens assistance through their civil IDs against the lifting of subsidies, adding that the assistance should not be less than KD 500. The lawmaker said that the petrol hike should have been accompanied with measures to prevent any harm to citizens and to give expatriates the option to use a better public transport network. Abul called on the government to correct the demographic structure which is dominated by expatriates, a majority of whom are marginal laborers.

Meanwhile, MP Abdullah Maayouf said yesterday he plans to file a request to grill Minister of justice and Islamic Affairs Yacoub Al-Sane for allegedly making illegal appointments in the two ministries to serve his “election interests”. Maayouf claimed that the minister exploited his position to make the appointments that serve his selfish election interests. Sane is an elected MP, before he was appointed to the Cabinet. He is expected to run again in next year’s parliamentary polls. The lawmaker said the grilling will be based on charges of aggression on public funds and misusing his position.

By B Izzak

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