June 7, 2022 government

Lawmaker urges govt to face unprecedented rise in prices


KUWAIT: MP Khalil Al-Saleh called on the government on Monday to take speedy actions to face an unprecedented wave of price rises that began with the coronavirus pandemic and accelerated with the Russia-Ukraine war. The lawmaker called on the government to adopt a “comprehensive strategic plan” on the short and medium terms aimed at reducing the cost of living and producing commodities, in addition to providing services and storage.

He said the government plan must provide financial aid to families by raising the cost-of-living allowance, in addition to other measures. Saleh said the price rise wave comes amid real concerns about Kuwait’s food security, especially following the Russian war on Ukraine and decisions by several countries to stop exporting essential commodities, which is likely to trigger higher inflation and rises in prices.

The lawmaker stressed that the crisis threatens the living conditions of citizens amid government failure to act despite a huge rise in oil revenues. He also warned that continued increases in prices presents a national challenge, which requires the government to face it immediately.

Meanwhile, MP Khaled Al-Otaibi asked the minister of commerce and industry about reports saying the ministry plans to allow a massive increase in third-party vehicle insurance charges. The lawmaker said reports have indicated that third-party insurance premiums will be allowed to increase to between KD 45 and KD 100, which means an increase of between 200 percent and 700 percent.

He said the reports come after the ministry closed down a number of insurance companies in the past few years, which increased competition between insurance companies in favor of clients. He said this has left only a handful of insurance firms that control the market who covertly set the prices they want, amounting to a monopoly.

Otaibi asked the minister about the number of insurance companies operating in the country that offer vehicle insurance, and the number of companies shut by the ministry in the past three years. He also asked the ministry about why the ministry has set the third-party insurance charges at KD 19 and prevented companies from lowering the premium.

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