Kuwait draws US$94 billion from reserves to close budget deficit

Kuwait draws US$94 billion from reserves to close budget deficit
Kuwait finance minister Anas Al Saleh.
Published: 20 July 2017 - 4:05 a.m.
By: ArabianBusiness.com

Kuwait’s government drew down a total of KD28.5 billion ($94 billion) from its reserves over 2015 to 2017 to close the budget deficit and swell its Future Generations Fund.

In a statement carried by the KUNA news agency, Kuwait’s Ministry of Finance moved to clarify a series of budget figures.

Official spokesman Abdulmohsen Al Tayar said that while $94 billion was taken from the general reserve from 2015 to 2017, this did not represent the budget deficit for those three years.

The majority of cash pulled from Kuwait’s hefty reserves aimed to close the deficit for the fiscal year 2016-2017 – around $18 billion, Al Tayar said, according to KUNA. However, when setting out the state budget for the year ahead in January, finance minister Anas Al Saleh had said the 2016-2017 budget deficit was far higher – at $28 billion.

A further KD5.071 billion ($16 billion) was drawn down for the fiscal year 2015-2016, Al Tayar said, while a total of KD15.548 billion ($51 billion) was transferred to the Future Generations Fund, managed by the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA).

Under Kuwaiti law, around 10 percent of the country’s total annual revenues are transferred to the Future fund, while “other amounts are taken from the general reserve to cover government spending”, Al Tayar was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Kuwait’s Public Institution for Social Security’s deficit in those years was KD1.413 billion ($4 billion), Al Tayar said.

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