Kuwait Approves 2001-2002 Budget
A Kuwaiti parliamentary panel has approved a 2001-2002 budget which projects a deficit of $5.95 billion, the panel's chairman said Saturday.
Adnan Abdel Samad told a press conference that expenditure is forecast at $17.18 billion and revenues at $12.48 billion, with oil income projected at $10.63 billion, or 85 percent of the total, according to the Gulf Daily News.
By law, 10 percent of revenues, amounting to $1.25 billion in this case, are deducted for the Kuwait Fund for Future Generations, a $60 billion investment managed by Kuwait Investment Authority.
Oil revenues in the budget were calculated on the basis of a conservative price of $15 a barrel and daily production of about two million barrels, Samad said.
The budget for the 2001-2002 fiscal year that started on April 1 and ends March 31, 2002 will go before the full house for approval this week or next, according to the paper.
Wages for government staff employed in ministries and other state agencies account for about $10.3 billion, 59.8 percent of total expenditure and as high as 96.8 percent of projected oil revenue, Samad said.
OPEC member Kuwait provides cradle-to-grave welfare to its citizens, with free or heavily-subsidized services and no income tax.
More than 93 percent of the Kuwaiti workforce of 220,000 is employed by the government.
Security spending, which includes the defense ministry, is projected at $3.8 billion.
Allocations for construction and development projects and other forms of capital expenditure have been increased to $3.74 billion from less than $2 billion in previous years, the official said.
The emirate posted a surplus of $4 billion in the 1999-2000 fiscal year and more than $5 billion last year, which was shortened to nine months.
Economists expect Kuwait to post a surplus for the third year running despite the projected deficit, according to the paper – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)