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Ministry’s decision criticized
KUWAIT CITY, Sept 11: Not all instances of savings should be praised, particularly when the expenditure is for the greater public good and has been allocated in the state’s budget, such as infrastructure projects. In such cases, officials returning unspent funds without utilizing them can be counterproductive. This situation is exemplified in the realm of electricity, as reliable sources have confirmed that the ministry has returned 133 million dinars to the treasury.
However, these savings have come at the expense of delaying the completion of several electricity production projects instead of procuring power from Gulf electricity network. In this context, knowledgeable insiders have criticized the electricity ministry’s decision to save from the estimated budget of 508 million dinars for the fiscal year 2022-2023. It’s worth noting that, during the same period, the ministry requested an additional allocation of 30 million dinars from the current budget, which is estimated at 452.8 million dinars, for the purchase of electric power from the Gulf interconnection.
This request was made out of concern for potential disruptions in electricity supply during the upcoming summer. Regulatory bodies, including the State Audit Bureau, have also warned of a potential electricity crisis in the summer of 2024.
The question arises: Wouldn’t it have been more prudent to allocate these savings toward funding projects, whether ongoing or part of the Ministry’s development plan? This is especially relevant for delayed energy production projects, which include the generation of 900 megawatts from the Subbiya station, 80 megawatts from the Kabd station, and 3,500 megawatts from the Shagaya station. It’s important to note that the ministry’s justification for the lack of financial resources to initiate and execute electricity production projects contradicts the existence of these savings at the end of the fiscal year. By Mohammed Ghanem Al-Seyassah Staff