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Study on rationalization of ‘subsidies’ being reviewed

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 6: The study conducted by Ernst & Young on the rationalization of subsidies is being reviewed amidst public and parliamentary objections to the idea of increasing the price of fuel and fees for various services, reports Al-Anba daily quoting sources. Sources said those against the proposed price hike have stressed the need to re-assess the suggested prices, especially that of petrol. Sources explained some proposals on lifting subsidies must be submitted to the Parliament for approval before the government takes the final decision. Sources pointed out that deliberations on the price hike proposal might be postponed until the approval of the budget for the new fiscal year in April, while the Finance Ministry is expected to introduce ways to reduce public expenditures. Sources said the government wants to put the responsibility of taking a historic decision whether to press ahead with the rationalization of subsidies or not on the shoulders of the Parliament, whereas the budget defi cit will be addressed by using the financial reserves of the country. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance has replaced 11 deluxe cars allocated to officials of its education counterpart with another type of vehicle through direct rental — similar to earlier contracts, reports Al-Rai daily quoting Assistant Undersecretary for Financial Affairs at the Education Ministry Yousef Al-Najaar. Disclosing the validity of the car rental contract has been reduced from three years to one year, Al- Najaar explained this is part of the measures being taken to regulate public expenditures.

He said the Education Ministry’s budget for fiscal 2016/2017 is KD 1.8 billion, indicating this is higher by KD 400 million compared to the budget for the previous fiscal year. He revealed the first chapter of the budget is for salaries, allowances, bonuses and other financial privileges granted to employees. He added the Finance Ministry has, so far, not announced reduction in any of the items in the budget. In another development, Al-Qabas daily has quoted sources as saying that the Educational Development and Activities Sector in the Education Ministry will hold the ninth scouting camp from Jan 7-14, 2016. Sources disclosed the inauguration ceremony for the camp will be held in Kabad on Sunday

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