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Sun 11 Oct 2009 07:27 AM

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12,000 apply for help to Kuwait defaulters fund

More than 6,000 cases settled by fund set up to help nationals struggling to repay debts.

A fund set up by the Kuwait government to help nationals whose debt repayments represents more than half their monthly salaries has so far received more than 12,000 applications, it has been announced.

The defaulters' fund was announced by officials in July to help citizens battle against the impact of the global economic crisis.

Kuwaiti Minister of Finance Mustafa Al Shimali said the total debts of nationals amounted to about KD6bn ($20bn).

In a statement to KUNA News Agency, he indicated that the government had extended the date for people who defaulted from March 31 last year to December 31 2008.

So far, 12,413 citizens with an overall debts of KD521 million, have applied for help from the fund, he added. A total of 6,086 cases have been settled, worth KD134 million.

The minister also said that the government was likely to look favourably at increasing the fund if necessary

"I am sure that the brothers, the members of the National Assembly, will not object to the query for the service of the indebted citizens," he said.

The minister dismissed calls to write off the debts. "It is rather insensible to cancel all these debts, the bulk of which were of consumer nature and with installments, and make the state shoulder this burden," he said.

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