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Fri 3 Jul 2009 08:57 AM

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Kuwait MPs approve $42bn budget passed by gov't

Budget had been passed through a decree law after the legislature was dissolved in March.

Kuwait's parliament approved on Thursday the 2009/10 state budget which had been passed through a decree law after the legislature was dissolved in March.

The lawmakers, elected in May, kept expenditure unchanged at 12.12 billion dinars ($42.18bn). Revenue for the April-March fiscal year is forecast at 8.08 billion dinars, which would result in a deficit of about 4.85 billion dinars.

OPEC member Kuwait has assumed its crude oil, the country's main revenue earner, would fetch $35 a barrel in this year's budget, down from $50 a barrel last year.

But current oil prices are more than enough to meet Kuwait's budgetary needs and would generate a surplus this year, Oil Minister Ahmad al-Abdullah al-Sabah said earlier on Thursday. The world's fourth-largest oil exporter relies on oil for 95 percent of state revenues.

Kuwait posted a preliminary budget surplus of 6.09 billion dinars in the 2008/09 fiscal year on higher-than-expected oil revenue, official data showed in April.

US crude traded at $67.19 a barrel on Thursday, down from last July's record of more than $147.

The ruler of the OPEC oil exporting nation, who dissolved the previous house in March after some lawmakers sought to question the prime minister, has reappointed his nephew Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al Ahmad Al Sabah to head the new cabinet. (Reuters)

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