(MENAFN - Arab Times) The parliamentary Financial and Economic Affairs Committee completed Sunday its report on the public tenders draft bill, which includes the proposed amendments to allow foreign companies to participate in biddings directly without a local agent as in the current law, change the name of the Central Tenders Committee to Central Body Tenders Institution, and increase its members from seven to nine.
Speaking to reporters after the panel meeting, Committee Rapporteur MP Ahmed Lari confirmed completion of the report on the bill but the committee stills needs to deliberate on minor changes in two articles of the proposal and this will be finalized on Monday.
He disclosed the major amendments include the exemption of all state-owned companies from the bill, but the oil establishments are covered by the proposal.
He affirmed the processes related to the purchase, services and military-related contracts in the ministries of Defense and Interior and the National Guard are also covered by the bill, while taking into account the treaties and agreements applied for Kuwait.
Lari said the committee also exempted from the bill all the real estate properties outside Kuwait, such as the buildings used by embassies and other structures because they are already under the supervision of the State Audit Bureau.
He disclosed the bill gives the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) power to deal with investment institutions and to supervise tenders. He explained the first priority for the qualification of bidding companies should be the technical aspect to be followed by financial considerations but the two must be balanced.
He added the bill gives preference to local producers with 15 percent reduction in prices compared to the foreign producers of similar goods.
The committee has also agreed on the formation of an independent complaints panel, comprising of five members with tenure of four years each, Lari asserted.
In another development, MP Musallam Al-Barrak, chairman of the committee tasked to probe into the multimillion deposit scam, said they invited representatives of certain institutions and individuals to hear their testimonies in its next meeting on Saturday.
He revealed the panel sent invitations to Al-Qabas daily, head of Financial Control Unit at the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) and the Ministry of Interior to listen to their statements on the alleged swelling of the bank accounts of some former lawmakers.
Meanwhile in his capacity as chairman of the Public Funds Protection Committee in the Parliament, Al-Barrak confirmed the panel will discuss the purported violations committed by the Kuwait Investment Authority and Kuwait Investment Company. He said the panel will endorse other reports completed by its predecessor, particularly the Russian loan, two cargo planes and expenses at the Diwan of HH the Crown Prince.
Furthermore, MPs Abdulhameed Dashti, Nabeel Al-Fadhel, Adnan Al-Muttawa and Faisal Al-Duwaisan have presented a draft bill on the establishment of a committee to correct the status of Kuwaitis with dual nationalities. They said the committee's functions include receiving applications of those with dual citizenship who want to correct their status according to the provisions of this bill. They added the panel will work for eight months starting from the date the bill takes effect.
According to the proposal, those with dual citizenship who want to give up their Kuwaiti nationality will receive KD 50,000 and allow those who want to keep their dual citizenship but they cannot vote, run for public office and occupy military or government leadership posts.
On the other hand, Dashti has threatened to grill any minister who does not respond to the queries of lawmakers. He expressed his disappointment on the interior minister's failure to respond to his questions on the cancellation of permits for Kuwaitis to travel to Iraq, pointing out this is a violation of the Constitution and international agreements.
Dashti also hinted on his plan to forward questions to the oil minister on the alleged misappropriation of public funds in the oil sector, including the purported irregularities in the Khafji Joint Operations Zone.
On MP Saleh Ashour's grilling motion against HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak, Dashti said he and his colleagues are currently coordinating their efforts to support Ashour.
In the meantime, MP Mohammed Al-Juwaihel announced he will soon finalize his interpellation request against the interior minister, disclosing the grilling points include serious issues like citizenship, alleged torture-death of Al-Maimouni, the black GMC Yukon car purportedly used in torturing citizens, and financial violations in the ministry.
Also, MP Al-Saifi Al-Saifi has warned Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Lieutenant General Ahmad Al-Rujeib on the dire consequences if the ministry continues to neglect the problems of the orphans and elderly in the social care homes, as well as the non-implementation of the Handicapped Law. He asked Al-Rujeib to perform his ministerial duties efficiently and take the necessary steps to address these problems.
He stressed the need for the minister to correct loopholes in his portfolio to better serve the public, especially the orphans and elderly who have been suffering for years due to the negligence of certain ministry officials and workers.