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Kuwait plans 25 percent cut in state expenditure
February 29, 2016, 8:26 am

The government unveiled a plan to reduce state expenditure by 25 percent to redress the enormous budget deficit caused by the sharp decline in oil prices.

The plan was disclosed in a special meeting held Sunday by the National Assembly's Financial and Economic Affairs Committee and attended by several cabinet ministers to study plans for dealing with the economic situation. In a press statement following the meeting, which was headed by the National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Ali Al-Ghanim, the Committee Chairman MP Faisal Al-Shaya said that the meeting also tackled plans to rationalize subsidies for basic services and commodities as well as to increase revenues through privatization of some projects and expanding public-private sectors' partnership projects.

The government stated that it aims to downsize state institutions budgets by 25 percent and to rationalize electricity and water subsidies.

It expected that the rationalization of electricity and water subsidies would help save KD 1.2 billion (roughly USD 3.98 billion), he said.

Al-Shaya revealed that that lawmakers have proposed issuing fuel coupons for nationals to get 220 liters of rationalized fuel per month, and to lift the fuel subsidies totally. He, however, noted that no decision was taken in today's meeting as the committee and the government would convene next Thursday to agree on the main outlines of the economic reforms before moving to the details of each proposal.

He concluded that a series of meetings with the government would be held the coming weeks to agree on the plan. He expected that the committee would finish studies and present its report to the National Assembly's general session before April 1st. The meeting was attended by Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Acting Minister of Oil Anas Al-Saleh, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and Acting Minister of Electricity and Water Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs Ali Al-Omair, Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and Minister of State for Planning and Development Affairs Hind Al-Sabeeh and Minister of Trade and Industry Yusuf Al-Ali.

Also attending the meeting were several senior officials for the concerned ministries and state institutions.

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