MP warns Kuwait net borrower in 10-12 years; Pay … pain

KUWAIT CITY, Aug 28: Kuwait will become a ‘borrowing’ State in the next 10 or 12 years in case the government uses the general financial reserve to cover the budget deficit of KD 12 billion, says Chairman of the parliamentary Financial and Economic Affairs Committee MP Faisal Al-Shaye.

According to the lawmaker, the government has two options in paying the salaries of public sector employees 10 or 12 years from now — borrow money or take the required amount from the general financial reserve which currently stands at KD 150 billion.

He pointed out Kuwait is facing a disaster and it must be careful in its calculations, “meaning the country needs to stop wastage of public money and activate the role of the private sector.” He stressed the need to rely on the private sector in generating job opportunities for the graduates in the coming years, because the salaries of public sector workers have become a burden on the State budget — estimated at KD 13 billion annually.

He warned that if this continues, the country will be in big trouble. He also called for the implementation of State projects through the Build-Operate- Transfer (BOT) system and to expand the role of the private sector in such projects. “We have seen the experience of private telecommunications companies in providing better services to consumers. We are not asking for something new, especially since the system is currently used in most countries throughout the world,” he explained.

In another development, Al-Shaye lauded Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Hind Al-Subaih for unveiling irregularities in the handicapped cards. He said the minister confirmed that 40 or 50 percent of the disabled have no startup files, while exposing anomalies in the distribution of social assistance to the handicapped.

Meanwhile, parliamentary sources affirmed the privatization of sports clubs is one of the priorities of the Parliament and government in the next legislative round. They believe the privatization of sports clubs will resolve the sporting crisis in the country, particularly the ban on Kuwait’s participation in international sports events or competitions, source added.

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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