Ministries under fire for 'failing to implement projects'
Manama, March 12, 2014
Government bodies came under fire yesterday for allegedly "failing" to implement majority of infrastructure and community projects over the last 12 years in Bahrain.
MPs claimed ministries were wasting time and money on "unwanted" projects instead of focusing on those aimed at helping citizens and implementing amended ministerial policies, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
It comes after a parliamentary committee found that 189 proposals of around 300 randomly selected were approved by the government, but were never implemented.
Its findings were revealed to parliament following meetings held with ministers and senior government officials over the last six months.
Parliament's financial and economic affairs committee chairman Abdulhaleem Murad walked out of yesterday's weekly session in protest over what he called "empty" government promises.
However, Minister of State for Parliament and Shura Council Affairs Abdulaziz Al Fadhel said MPs were distorting the truth.
He said 750 proposals were submitted to the Cabinet over the last 12 years, most of which were approved.
"We don't have numbers of what has been approved, but it is clear that MPs are not telling the whole truth about the government's keenness in having all of their demands and that of the people approved," he said.
"If we wanted to hide the truth, we wouldn't have asked ministers and senior government officials to attend meetings with the committee.
"Parliament can use its authority to question ministers on reasons behind not implementing their demands, but it is actually MPs' fault for not including needed funding for their own proposals in the national budget."
He said some of the projects have not been implemented due to different reasons, including unavailability of funding.
"MPs asked for two schools in the Northern Governorate 10 years ago, but it has not been built because the Northern Town is not ready yet, while another proposal to turn the Gulf Co-operation Council into a union needs a decision from all member states and if it was up to us then we would have joined instantly," he added.
His comments were questioned by parliament second vice-chairman Shaikh Adel Al Maawada, who said the government should have at least carried out the easy projects.
"What about university graduates, who have degrees in social studies, getting jobs or improving disabled services proposals, why are they still waiting to be implemented - 12 years after being originally proposed," he said.
"We know the two proposals chosen by the minister need time, but others do not.
"Government officials don't care about the people and will only react if pressured rather than do things willingly."
Outspoken MP Ali Shamtoot claimed ministers do not present all the approved parliamentary proposals to the Premier.
"Most ministers throw away our proposals and take one to show they are co-operative rather than present all of them to the Premier to help with decision making," he said.
"They say some proposals are partially approved or implemented just to keep us quiet, while zero gets done." - TradeArabia News Service