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Kuwait MPs to grill govt. over fuel price rises

4 September 2016 21:02

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Kuwait’s media say the country’s parliamentarians are preparing to grill the government for an unpopular decision to increase fuel prices.

This follows earlier announcements that the Kuwaiti government plans to increase fuel prices by up to 83 percent.

The plan which the government approved last month will be implemented as soon as the major subsidies that have been put on fuel are scrapped.  This, the media have already reported, is a result of the slump in crude prices that has undermined government revenues not only in Kuwait but also in other Persian Gulf countries.

The Kuwait Times has reported that several MPs will soon file an interpellation against Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Acting Minister of Oil Anas Al-Saleh over the issue.

MP Ahmad Al-Qudhaibi is expected to file a case against Minister of Commerce and Industry Yousuf Al-Ali over his decision to halt the freezing of goods’ prices three months after he made the move ahead of the fuel prices increase, added the report.

The upsurge in fuel prices has reportedly put public pressure on MPs ahead of elections in 2017.

Moreover, MP Faisal Al-Shaya called on the government to stop the issuance of free fuel coupons to ministers, lawmakers, Municipal Council members and senior state officials in order to “achieve social justice”.

There are already speculations that the average price of gasoline in Kuwait will reach 28 cents per liter — or about $1.06 per gallon — after the subsidies are removed.

That is still believed to be way below prices in other Persian Gulf nations such as the UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar, and even less than half what consumers pay for comparable gas in the US.

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