Shoura rejects call to delay Isha prayer

Ministry of Economy and Planning draws flak


By Faris Al-Qahtani

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

RIYADH — The consultative Shoura Council has turned down a proposal to hold Isha prayer two hours after the Maghreb all over the Kingdom despite support from its Islamic and Judicial affairs committee.

The proposal, tabled by female member Zainab Abu Talib, failed to obtain the needed majority of 76 votes as 58 members voted in favor while a same number of members voted against it.

The council has asked the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance to further enhance its supervision over mosques to make sure that they deliver their duties according to the set standard.

Yahya Al-Samaan, assistant speaker, said the council asked the ministry to create accounts on social media, make special applications for smart phones and include indicators of achievements in its next annual report.

The council also urged the ministry to ask philanthropists who build mosques to create special endowments to meet the expenses of maintaining them.

It asked the ministry to activate the Endowment Fund for mosques, which was recently announced by the Council of Ministers.

The council, on the other hand, strongly criticized the annual report of the Ministry of National Economy and Planning and said it came void of any economic indicators.

It said none of the 52 various initiatives adopted by the ministry had appeared in its annual report.

A member said the report was full of research studies conducted by the ministry as if it had become a research center instead of a ministry.

Another member said since the economy was separated from the Finance Ministry about 15 years ago, the ministry achieved nothing new in this aspect.

A third member said since 1970 the government was talking about a pro-oil economy but the ministry did not do anything in this regard.