KUWAIT CITY, June 22: Kuwait’s parliament approved during a session on Tuesday the 2021-2022 state budget, with a projected expenditure of USD 76 billion for the fiscal year that started on April 1, the country’s finance minister said. The approval of the 2021-2022 state budget, which shows an estimated revenue of USD 36 billion is a “monumental event” with major implications for citizens and the national economy, Khalifa Hamada was cited as saying in a statement. Some 71.6 percent of expenditure is allocated for job support, the minister revealed, while some 15 percent of total spending would go towards development projects, chief among them infrastructure and residential ones. The budget shows a marked increase in workers’ compensation, worth USD 630 million, which would give way to an increase in healthcare and education spending, respectively, added the minister. On a “timely” approval of the state budget, which was supported by 32 out of 63 lawmakers, he said the measure was needed to keep development projects afloat, thanking parliament for its contributions towards the endeavor. Out of 63 legislators present at the session; 32 voted in favor of the bill, 30 abstained and one rejected.
This voting covered the budgets of 16 independent institutions and 20 subsidiaries. The session witnessed a heated scenario due to the opposing views of the government and several MPs who consider the approval of the budget as the only way to pay for salaries, continue the provision of various services and finance development enterprises. On the other hand, 31 MPs believe that approval of the KD23. 5 billion budget is a ‘carte blanche’ for His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled who protected himself from the grilling motions. Before the session, a number of MPs occupied the seats allocated for the ministers. Nevertheless, Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs Mubarak Al-Harees attended the session as the government’s representative. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff and Agencies