KUWAIT CITY, Jan 18: Former minister of Finance Bader Al- Humaidhi says Kuwait is heading towards the unknown in light of the continuation of the current deficit in the state budget and lack of any real reform program for diversifying the sources of state revenues and reducing expenses, reports Al- Qabas daily.
He said, “This file unfortunately is not born of the hour, because the state has been suffering from it since the eighties”. Al-Humaidhi explained, “I read the new budget for the 2020/2021 fiscal year. Its title is that the government will sell oil to pay salaries.
This is a catastrophe if it continues”. He revealed that he has information as per which the general reserve fund amounts to KD 7 billion, which means even the funds of the general reserve are not sufficient to cover the expected deficit.
Al-Humaidhi indicated his fear that the direction will be charted by some MPs who are busy looking for popular excitement to amend some laws and allow withdrawal from the fund for future generations “our children’s asset.”
He revealed that a document was presented two years ago for reforming the economy when the value of oil prices was $45 level but unfortunately after the prices rose slightly, a minister in the Kuwaiti government said, “Forget this document!”, which is a clear evidence of the absence of prudent government strategies. The former minister said, “The current Kuwaiti generation is never satisfied… and the permanent word is “give me more”. This matter is considered a national deficiency, especially since each person is seeking more than his right from the state. Unfortunately these popular demands are supported by MPs, who financed their election campaigns with populist slogans even at the expense of the financial viability of the state”.
Al-Humaidhi considers the parliament’s rejection of reform laws, especially economic ones, as “a national and selfish deficiency”, because they prefer to achieve popular victories to reach the parliament several times at the expense of the future of the people and the state. He said, “For example, social assistance for the elderly is granted to all, rich and poor, as well as rewards for students in colleges, irrespective of whether the guardian has a million dinars in income or only a pension. There should be a strict system for the distribution of social assistance, and that it should not be granted in all cases alike”.