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Press Dossier    By Date   04/01/2023 Govt meets MPs, says buying loans will be expensive

Kuwait Times, Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 | Jamadi Al Thani 11, 1444

Govt meets MPs, says buying loans will be expensive

Kuwait: HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Nawaf Al-Sabah, accompanied by some ministers on Tuesday, held talks with lawmakers on expanding cooperation, but the government informed MPs that purchasing citizens’ consumer and personal loans is expensive. The government said the meeting was positive and fruitful, but MPs were divided on the outcome of the first such meeting, with some praising its results and others saying it did not achieve much.

The meeting, called by the prime minister, discussed outstanding issues between the government and the National Assembly, including purchasing loans, amnesty for political prisoners and others with the aim to reduce differences between the two bodies. A majority of MPs say the prime minister is a reformist, but are increasingly becoming discontent with the lack or slow process of performance by his government.

Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Ammar Al-Ajmi, himself an elected MP, said the meeting was “very excellent” and that the government will take into account queries and remarks made by lawmakers. He added that the government came to the meeting seeking cooperation with the Assembly, and this meeting won’t be the last. Ajmi said that the issue of consumer loans for Kuwaiti citizens was discussed in general terms, but details were not discussed. The minister said cooperation between the two bodies will benefit the nation.

Speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun and around 20 MPs attended the meeting. MP Mohammad Hayef said the meeting was positive and issues like purchasing loans, amnesty for political prisoners and citizenship were discussed. MP Hamad Al-Obaid said that the government and MPs agreed on key issues, but differences remained on the issue of purchasing loans of citizens.

Some parliamentary sources quoted the finance minister as telling MPs that purchasing loans will cost over KD 14 billion, and the funds are not available with the government. The sources added that the government submitted financial options for the purchase of loans with the aim to improve the living conditions of citizens.

Opposition MP Saud Al-Asfour however said the meeting achieved no real result. He said the government did not present any practical alternatives for parliamentary demands, and “I personally heard only more promises from the government”, adding he expected the government to be more prepared. MP Jenan Bushehri charged that most Cabinet members are unaware of their responsibilities toward the country and citizens. She called on the prime minister to reform this problem.

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