KUWAIT, Aug 13: The Ministry of Finance said Thursday the budget deficit hit KD 5.6 billion (nearly USD 18.4 billion) in the fiscal year ending on March 31. The figure reflects an annual increase by 68 percent, yet it is 31.8 percent less than the projected deficit in the state budget, according to a press release from the ministry.
The oil revenues in the last fiscal year stood at KD 15.369 billion (USD 49 billion), declining by 16.6 percent from the previous year, while the non-oil revenues declined by 13 percent to KD 1.851 billion (some USD 5.8 billion).
The aggregate revenues amounted to KD 17.220 billion (some USD 55 billion), reflecting a 16 percent decline from the previous year.
The expenditure, on aggregate, topped KD 21.140 billion (USD 68 billion), reflecting a 3.2 percent decrease from the previous year.
The deductions for the future generations fund amounted to KD 1.722 billion (USD 5.7 billion). The average oil price stood at USD 61.12 per barrel.
The expenditures on salaries and subsidies accounted for 76 percent of the aggregate expenditure, hitting KD 4.027 billion (some USD 13 billion) or 17.5 percent less than the figures of the previous year.
The capital expenditures amounted to KD 2.6 billion (nearly USD 8.5 billion) representing 12 percent of the aggregate expenditure.
Commenting on the figures, Minister of Finance Barak Al-Shitan said, “The budget deficient of KD 5.6 billion is a normal outcome of the decline of the oil prices between FY 2018-2019 and FY 2019-2020.”
“The deficit was calculated after deducting the appropriations for the future generations fund amounting to 10 percent of the budget as per the provisions of Act No 106/1976.
“The government has presented to the legislature draft amendments to the law, envisaging a halt to the 10 percent appropriations for the fund in case of budget deficit,” the minister revealed.
“If the amendments are passed and the final account of FY 2019-2020 is revised, the budget deficit will be brought down to KD 3.9 billion (USD 12 billion),” he pointed out.
Al-Shitan added that the government has referred the final account to the National Assembly for endorsement and was ready any discussion with the MPs with a view to reaching practical solutions and adjusting the state budget. (KUNA)