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Kuwait mulls ration cards to replace subsidies
April 30, 2014, 11:44 am

Kuwait is considering issuing citizens with ration cards for items such as fuel and energy in replacement of subsidies for all, Kuwait Times has reported.

The Gulf state is examining its $12bn subsidies program that includes huge discounts on fuel, electricity, water and basic food stuffs, as it attempts to avoid its first budget deficit since the late 1990s.

It is considering removing all subsidies for expats, which make up two-thirds of the country’s population.

Ministry of Commerce and Industry undersecretary Khalifa Hamada said on Tuesday the parliamentary committee conducting the review was looking at distributing cards with quotas for certain services and items.

Expats working in industries the country still relies on foreigners to fill, such as doctors, consultants and engineers, also could be left out of any subsidy cuts.

Hamada said the government would be “extremely cautious” in implementing any changes to the subsidies system.

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