(MENAFN- Arab Times) The National Assembly members will closely monitor the steps that the government will take to cover the State budget deficit, says MP Jamal Al-Omar.
According to the lawmaker, he will not hesitate in subjecting the authority to political accountability in case it deviates from the right path.
He said the government must be responsible for this unprecedented budget deficit, which is the result of unjustified spending and mismanagement. He outrightly rejected any attempt to cover this deficit from the pockets of citizens. He pointed out that using the general reserve to cover the deficit is the most cost effective measure.
He explained the annual deduction ratio of the general reserve, which is estimated at 10 percent, is enough to cover the deficit; so he is surprised why the government intends to issue bonds for this purpose considering the cost is higher.
He warned that the lawmakers will be compelled to take a firm stand against Finance Minister Anas Al Saleh if the government pushes ahead with its plan to issue bonds, especially since the revenue from reserve deposits is very low compared to the cost of issuing bonds.
Meanwhile, MP Majid Moussa has called on Minister of Electricity and Water Ahmed Al-Jassar to quickly deal with electricity supply disruptions in a number of residential areas. "It is unacceptable that citizens and their families suffer from repeated power outages, particularly this time when Ramadan coincided with the summer season. All those behind the repeated power outages must be held liable, considering the previous minister was notified about the problem," he added.
He went on to say the minister should form an inquiry commission whose members are from outside the ministry in order to determine the actual cause of the repeated power outages. He stressed the lawmakers will take a firm stand regarding the issue in the next legislative round if the problem is not solved by then.
On another issue, MP Dr Abdullah Al-Turaiji forwarded questions to Minister of Communications and State Minister for Municipality Affairs Issa Al-Kandari on the appointments in the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
He cited a report that the directorate assigned a number of employees to supervisory jobs without complying with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) resolutions. He asked the minister to provide him with the names of those nominated for supervisory positions without complying with CSC decree number 18/2011 from December 2014 till date. He also inquired if it is true that the directorate will hire staff for the news departments and sections it intends to establish soon despite the presence of qualified employees who should be promoted to these positions based on seniority. He demanded for clarification on the allegation that the directorate has granted cars to some employees, not top officials, for personal use. He asked if it is true that some heads of departments receive financial rewards annually for their participation in work meetings in the mornings, during or after the official working hours. If yes, he wants to know the details such as the amount of financial reward and legal basis for granting the reward.
Moreover, MP Hmoud Al-Hamdan submitted a number of queries to the Ministry of Education regarding the newly constructed schools which have yet to be handed over to the ministry. He wants to know the reasons behind the delay and the location of each school, as these new schools have become targets for vandalism and other illegal activities. He inquired who is politically responsible for the delay and if the ministry knows when it will receive these schools. In another development, Secretary General of the National Democratic Alliance Bashar Al-Sayegh criticized the recent directive of the government to ban voice call services provided by smart phone applications such as Viber and WhatsApp.
He considers this step a violation of people's communication and correspondence rights which are guaranteed by the Constitution. In a press conference, Al-Sayegh clarified the directive is a clear indication of the communications authority's failure to cope with the latest technological developments.
He also accused the authority of using national security and military points of execution as justification for the directive while disregarding the basic rights of the public. He then called on the concerned authority to quickly withdraw this directive which, he believes, is an overnight decision; because it does not address the security issue and it curtails public freedom
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