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Sat 5 May 2012 05:41 PM

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Kuwait economic growth about 5% - fin min

Gulf state's parliament this week rejected US$111bn development plan

Kuwait economic growth about 5% - fin min
Mustafa al-Shimali, Kuwaiti finance minister.

Kuwait’s economy is expected to grow about 5 percent in 2012, Finance Minister Mustafa al-Shimali told reporters in Riyadh at a Gulf Cooperation Council finance ministers’ meeting today.

Earlier this week, Kuwait’s parliament rejected a bill that covers the government’s US$111bn four-year development plan in the 2012-2013 fiscal year, the state news agency KUNA reported.

Lawmakers who blocked the bill yesterday described the plan as “unrealistic” and criticised the government for lagging in its implementation of projects, according to KUNA.

The plan, which began in 2010-2011, requires parliamentary approval for every fiscal year. Minister of State for Planning and Development Affairs, Fadhel Safar, said “many projects were accomplished in the first two fiscal years of the plan,” KUNA said.

Kuwait wants private investors to meet almost half the cost of the development plan to modernise its oil-based economy.

The investments include increasing oil and gas production, construction of a metro and rail network, the expansion of the airport, new power stations, cities, hospitals, roads and a port on Boubyan Island.

Adel al-Wuqayan, secretary-general of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development, told parliament a panel was dealing with “obstacles” facing the plan’s implementation, KUNA said.