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Friday , December 4 2020

MPs ‘approve’ final accounts

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 8: The National Assembly has approved the budget of independent institutions for fiscal 2020/2021 including the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK), Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), Kuwait Credit Bank (KCB), Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW), Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS), Zakat House, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), Public Authority for Roads and Transportation (PART), Public Authority for Industry (PAI), National Fund for Small and Medium Enterprises, and Communication and Information Technology Regulatory Authority (CITRA). A total of 37 MPs voted in favor of the budgets of these independent institutions, while 10 voted against.

The Assembly voted separately on the budget of Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) with 34 MPs voting in favor, while 15 voted against.

The budgets of subsidiary institutions were also approved including Kuwait Municipality, Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI), Kuwait Firefighting Force, Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET), Environment Public Authority (EPA), Public Authority for Handicapped Affairs (PAHA), Anti-Corruption Public Authority (NAZAHA), Public Authority for Manpower (PAM), Public Authority for Encouraging Investment, and National Council for Human Rights. A total of 46 MPs and ministers voted in favor of the budgets of these institutions, while seven voted against.

Voting on the budgets of other institutions was done separately as follows:

■ 45 voted in favor of the budget of Kuwait University, while eight voted against

■ 43 voted in favor of the budget of the Public Authority for Minors Affairs (PAMA), while 10 voted against

■ 42 voted in favor of the budget of the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR), while 13 voted against

■ 43 voted in favor of the budget of the Public Authority for Taking Care and Publishing the Quran and Sunnah, while 10 voted against

■ 42 MPs voted in favor of the budget of the Public Authority for Food and Nutrition, while 12 voted against

■ 41 MPs voted in favor of the budget of the Public Authority for Partnership Projects, while 12 voted against

■ 41 MPs voted in favor of the budget of the Public Authority for Sports, while 13 voted against

The Assembly approved the reports of its Budgets and Final Accounts Committee on the bills regarding these budgets, and then referred the bills to the government. In a related development, Chairman of Budgets and Final Accounts MP Adnan Abdulsamad conducted a presentation on the estimated budget submitted by the government. He disclosed the government, represented by the Ministry of Finance, estimated the revenues at KD 7.5 billion and the expenditures at KD 21.5 billion.

According to these estimates, the projected budget deficit is KD 14 billion; but the deficit will be much lower compared to the previous years, because this budget was based on the estimated oil price of $30 per barrel while the average actual price is around $45 per barrel. The committee has proposed amendments to the budget that will further reduce the deficit by KD 900 million. The saved amount has no negative impact on the salaries or subsidies granted to citizens, he explained.

The lawmaker pointed out the government has been slow in taking reform procedures and this further complicated the financial condition of the State. He said the surplus for fiscals 1999/2000 to 2011/2012 reached almost KD 50 billion. “Unfortunately, this large amount was spent on items outside the State budget like covering the actuary deficit of PIFSS, as well as the losses of group transportation companies and Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC),” he added.

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