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Kuwait's 2019-20 budget deficit to hit KD 7.7 billion, says minister
January 21, 2019, 8:37 pm

Kuwait's estimated budget deficit for the 2019/2020 fiscal year could soar to KD 7.7 billion (US$ 25.3 billion), Finance Minister Dr. Nayef Al-Hajraf said on Monday. Kuwait plans to spend KD 22.5 billion (US$ 74 billion) in total expenditure for the fiscal year 2019/2020, based on an average of US$ 55 per barrel of Kuwaiti crude oil, the minister told a press conference.

Total revenues stand at KD 16.4 billion (US$ 54 billion), KD 14.5 billion (US$ 47.7 billion) of which are oil revenues, while non-oil revenues amount to KD 1.86 billion (US$ 6.1 billion). He clarified that wages and employee bonuses make up 71 percent of total expenditure, while capital spending accounts for 17 percent and 12 percent comes from other expenses.

The estimated budget deficit of KD 7.7 billion (US$ 25.3 billion) takes into account revenue deductions worth 10 percent, which are earmarked for Kuwait's Future Generation Fund, the minister revealed. Kuwait's FY 2019-2020 budget indicates a break-even oil price range of US$ 75 to 80 per barrel, based on an average daily oil output of 2.8 million barrels.

The budget has been designed to stimulate economic growth through maintaining capital expenditure levels of 17 percent, Al-Hajraf pointed out, suggesting a correlation between the completion of development projects and cutting unnecessary expenses. "We are firmly on the path towards fiscal reforms," he emphasized, citing stricter measures dealing with government debt collection, including a settlement cost of KD 341.4 million (US$ 1.1 billion) for the next fiscal year. The Kuwaiti government has approved the FY 2019-2020 budget, focusing on more transparency and efficiency. 

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