By Neil King
Total surplus is same as 33 percent of 2012 GDP
Kuwait has posted a preliminary budget surplus of US$56.7bn (KD16.1bn) in the first nine months of the fiscal year, according to the National Bank of Kuwait SAK.
The fiscal year ends on 31 March, and the surplus is equivalent to 33 percent of annual 2012 GDP. The bank said it was lifted by a combination of soaring revenues and comparatively softer spending growth.
Revenue was KD24.3bn (US$85.5bn), incluing oil revenue of KD22.8bn (US$80.35bn), while spending was KD8.2bn (US$28.9) with capital spending at KD700m (US$2.47bn).
The revenue figures represent a thirteen percent increase on the previous year’s total, and the bank said that spending is “well below” the historical average for this time of year, while investment spending has “stayed relatively subdued”.
The government has said that it will raise revenue allocations to its wealth fund, the Future Generations Fund, from ten percent to 25 percent in a bid to encourage saving.
NBK added: “With three-quarters of the current fiscal year already behind us, just 38 percent of the budget has been spent – lower than usual for this stage of the year. Nevertheless, with spending typically accelerating in the final months of the year, there is still scope of expenditure to pick up going forward.”
If Kuwait has such a surplus budget, then why can't they build a new airport and overhaul their shattered national carrier? In addition, there are other key development projects that need to be jumpstarted immediately, one being the metro project, so in a country that is so dependent on the travel industry, why would they not want to utilize this money towards the needs of this nation? Maybe if they created a seat in Parliament that addressed airport affairs and transporation issues, projects like these would be moved to the forefront of Parliament agenda's.