Budget approval delay hinders KD 814 mn development projects in Kuwait

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KUWAIT CITY, May 7: Several government agency officials have voiced their frustrations over their inability to proceed with assigned projects, particularly those pertaining to development initiatives. The primary hindrance stems from the delay in adopting the draft budget law for the fiscal year 2024/2025, which encompasses projects valued at 814 million dinars, reports Al- Qabas daily. Despite the notable reduction in development expenditures within the 2024/2025 plan, marking the lowest levels in 14 years, the delay in budget approval poses significant challenges to adhering to project completion timelines.

The Ministry of Finance has circulated directives to government agencies, stipulating that the signing of new contracts for the fiscal year 2024/2025 is impermissible until certain sections of the budget are ratified by the National Assembly or until the budget law is enacted. However, Circular No. 2 of 2024 issued by the Ministry of Finance allows government agencies, with prior approval, to initiate measures such as launching practices and tenders outlined in their respective project budgets for the fiscal year 2024/2025. Contracting procedures should not be finalized until relevant budget sections receive approval. Exceptions are made for contracts pertaining to periodic supplies, employment, services, maintenance, and rentals, in accordance with Decree Law No. 31 of 1978.

To expedite project implementation aligned with the approved annual development plan for 2024/2025, government agencies are instructed to coordinate with relevant authorities and commence necessary measures. Spending on these projects must adhere to circular instructions and any subsequent directives issued by the Ministry of Finance. In a related development, it has been revealed that the Ministry of Finance has agreed to include the costs for study, design, and document preparation for the Gulf Railways Tender’s first phase in the budget of the Public Authority for Roads and Land Transport.

This initiative aims to advance the railway project, spanning approximately 2,117 kilometers from Kuwait to Muscat, Oman, as envisioned since 2009 to facilitate transportation and trade among GCC countries. Additionally, the first phase of the Kuwaitrelated segment of the railway, extending from Nuwaiseeb center to the main passenger station in the Shaddadiya area, covers a distance of 111 kilometers. This underscores the ongoing efforts to advance crucial infrastructure projects, despite challenges posed by budgetary delays.

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