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Saturday , August 24 2019

‘Deficit’ in state budget said starting to hit some ministries – Move to reduce severe imbalance in population structure

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 14: The deficit in the state budget is starting to affect some ministries particularly Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Defense, even though the government and Minister of Finance Anas Al-Saleh reassured that the country’s financial situation is stable and that no development projects will be halted or delayed over the issue of funds. According to informed sources, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Defense have decided to stop referring cases for overseas medical treatment from last week until early next year when the supplementary budget for ministries is due.

Concerning the delay in delivering the Jaber Hospital to Ministry of Health, sources explained, “There are reports that one of the finance officials of Ministry of Health made a huge mistake in listing the budget of the last phase of the hospital project in the current fiscal year. The official has in fact failed to list about KD 1 billion. One of the employees of the Finance Department had noticed the error and immediately notified the minister’s office, after which Minister of Health Dr Ali Al- Obeidi immediately called for a meeting to discuss about the issue.

The minister is competing with time to amend this mistake by securing the necessary funds in collaboration with the officials from the Finance Department and other departments of the ministry. He held several meetings concerning this issue with officials from the Finance Sector of the ministry.” The sources indicated, “The minister felt like someone was trying to undermine his capacity to appear as though he is not capable or rather he is unable to deliver the projects as per schedule”. Revealing that the official responsible for the mistake justified that he forgot to list the budget of the last phase of the hospital, the sources stressed, “It is unimaginable that such a thing happened despite the technical and financial audit that are conducted in ministries”.

Ministry of Interior is exerting tremendous efforts to reduce the severe imbalance in Kuwait’s population structure especially since 80 percent of the total population is expatriates, which represents a serious danger in the country, reports Al-Shahed daily quoting a reliable source. He said, as per reports, a large number of expatriates in Kuwait are marginal personnel, and many of them are involved in criminal activities.

The source indicated that the presence of such a high number of expatriates in the country is alike a “time bomb”, affirming that Ministry of Interior is studying a number of solutions such as nationality quota, as per which a limit will be set for issuance of visit or dependant visas for expatriates based on their nationality. The ministry is also coordinating with Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor to control

By Marwa Al-Bahrawi Al-Seyassah Staff

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