Kuwait's Amir Meets Speaker Al-Rashed
KUWAIT: HH the Amir yesterday received Speaker of the National Assembly Ali Al-Rashed and head of various parliamentary committees and discussed with them the top issues on the panels’ priority lists. The Governor of the Central Bank Mohammad Al-Hashel meanwhile told the financial and economic affairs committee that the cost of writing off interest on the bank loans of Kuwaiti citizens will be around KD 1.7 billion, insisting that the bank does not support the issue.
Also, the constitutional court decided at the end of its first session for studying challenges against the election and the single-vote decree to postpone the next hearing for Feb 3. Rashed said the Amir expressed concern for solving problems facing Kuwaitis as he reviewed with heads of committees the most important issues on their agendas which will be later submitted to the Assembly’s office for approval and debate. The speaker said the Amir promised to convey the issues to the government with a recommendation that it should take care of them so in order to create an atmosphere of cooperation between the Assembly and the government.
Regarding the issue of waiving interest on debts, Rashed said the Amir expressed hope that the Assembly and the government cooperate on finding a mechanism to resolve popular issues that are connected to public funds and the mechanism should be fair and safeguard funds. Meanwhile, rapporteur of the financial and economic affairs committee MP Safa Al-Hashem said the Central Bank governor informed the committee that there are 341,000 Kuwaiti debtors who have taken loans from banks and other companies against 412,400 citizens who have taken no loans. She said the governor believes that forgiving interest on the loans is unfair and unjust to many Kuwaitis, especially that the process will cost state coffers around KD 1.7 billion.
She said the committee will hold another meeting on Wednesday with Deputy PM and Finance Minister Mustafa Al-Shamali to discuss the issue. A number of MPs attended the meeting, the first to discuss several proposals calling to drop the interest on bank loans and then reschedule the repayment of the principal of the debt over many years in easy installments.