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No pending salary cuts – Power, gas price hikes still considered: Oil Minister
December 18, 2014, 8:42 am
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Kuwaiti Oil Minister Ali al-Omair.

Oil Minister Ali Al-Omair explained that Kuwait was the country least affected by falling oil prices, even it goes below $50 per barrel. “We have decided not to stop our projects,” he underlined, pointing out that the government is still studying all options. “Brent crude oil prices dropped to $60 per barrel, but our budget is still safe from deficits because we have been selling oil for over $100 a barrel for the first six months of this year,” he explained, pointing out that adding those revenues to those made since June onwards means that Kuwait has no deficit.

Speaking at a seminar held jointly with MP Yousuf Al-Zalzalah at the latter’s diwaniya, Omair said that the new budget will not affect development projects because some other expenses could be cut down. Omair also stressed that talks about lifting subsides from oil products, electricity and petrol were still subject to study and that no decision had been made yet. “We all have to share the responsibility because if oil prices fall, it would be illogical to go on with our old policies,” he underlined, denying any intention to cut salaries.

Zalzalah stressed that there was a great deal of waste in many fields including subsidized supplies. “A large portion of those supplies go to people who do not deserve them and they are sometimes sold because we are giving subsidized products to both the needy and the better-off citizens,” he said, noting that much of the subsidized diesel and cooking gas was being sold on the black market and that aviation fuel was given to airlines that make fortunes while getting subsidized fuel.

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