Kuwait's FY '14-15 budget deficit at KD 2.7 billion - Minister Al-Saleh
Kuwait said final financial statement of fiscal year 2014-15 has shown a KD 2.721 billion (some USD nine billion) deficit caused by nose-dive crude oil prices triggering less proceeds, marking the first actual deficit since FY 1998-99. Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Anas Al-Saleh said Monday retreat of oil revenues affected general budget of the state.
Speaking to KUNA, Al-Saleh projected bigger deficit in FY 2015-16 due to continuous fall of oil prices. The deficit, he added, represented around 5.6 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) "which a relatively high percentage expected to rise next year." Al-Saleh said total revenues for FY 2014-15 were KD 24.926 billion compared to KD 31.811 billion in the previous year, meaning income decreased by 21.6 percent.
He said oil proceeds dropped to KD 22.502 billion against KD 29.292 billion in the previous year, plunging by 23.2 percent. However, noted Al-Saleh, oil revenues made up 90.3 percent of total state income. It was 92.1 percent in the previous fiscal year.
The general revenes to GDP ratio plunged from 58.7 percent in FY 2013-14 to 46.3 percent in FY 2014-15. Despite drop in revenues, said Al-Saleh, spending continued to grow in FY 2014-15. Expenditures reached KD 21.415 billion compared to around KD 18.903 billion in the last fiscal year, an increase of 13.3 percent.
He said KD 5.303 billion went to salaries, growing by 5.3 percent than previous year, while spending on projects, maintenance and land was KD 1.662 billion compared to KD 1.530 billion in previous FY. Al-Saleh noted that KD 11.227 billion went to miscellaneous and transfers, increasing by 26.1 percent.