KUWAIT CITY, June 30: Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance and acting Minister of Oil Anas Al-Saleh revealed the actual budget deficit will be announced in the parliamentary session slated for Sunday, clarifying that the reported deficit of about KD 9 billion is just an estimate. Speaking to reporters present at the meeting of the Budgets and Final Accounts Committee in the Parliament Thursday, Al-Saleh disclosed the estimated deficit at the beginning of the fiscal year was linked to the production capacity of the oil sector and the price of oil in the world market.
He pointed out that when he submitted the budget to the National Assembly on Jan 31, 2016; the price of oil in the global market was falling but the market has rebounded since then and the government now sees the need to adjust the price of oil from $35 per barrel to a price ranging from $40 to $45.
He added the actions taken by the government based on the economic reform document in the medium term resulted in budget decrease for the second consecutive year and lower estimated deficit, stressing what matters here is the fact that the actual recorded deficit is around KD 8.2 billion.
Asked about the rationalization measures, Al-Saleh affirmed the government is continuing its reform procedures which increased the efficiency of State services He said this is in addition to the public debt strategy that will be announced in Sunday’s session. Meanwhile, the Budgets and Final Accounts Committee approved the budget of the Anti- Corruption Public Authority during the meeting.
In another development, National Assembly Observer MP Abdullah Al-Tamimi has warned Commerce and Industry Minister Dr Yousef Al-Ali about the dire consequences of distributing new industrial plots in Um Al-Haiman in Shuaiba Industrial Area due to the environmental problems in the area.
He argued the industrial plots are not more important than the lives of Kuwaitis, in the same manner that trade and prestige are above the health of our children. He asserted, “If the minister pushes ahead with the distribution of these plots, we will formally accuse him of trying to kill the people of Kuwait and he has to bear the consequences of this accusation.”
He went on to say that tampering with the lives of citizens does not only subject a minister to political execution, but indictment divine punishment as well. “I don’t think the minister will be able to withstand such an accusation, not at the political level nor the legal and moral levels,” he added.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff