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Thu 24 Mar 2016 01:36 PM

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Kuwait’s budget deficit to reach $73bn in three years

Annual budget deficit expected to be $24bn each year owing to lower oil prices, says official

Kuwait’s budget deficit to reach $73bn in three years
Anas Al-Saleh, Kuwait’s deputy premier and finance minister. (Getty Images)

Kuwait will experience an average annual state budget deficit of around KD 7.3 billion ($24 billion) for the next three years, according to a government official.

Anas Al-Saleh, Kuwait’s deputy premier and finance minister, predicted that the state budget deficit would amount to KD 22 billion ($73 billion) in three years' time, according to a report in Kuwait Times.

Al-Saleh, who is also Acting Oil Minister, delivered a speech during a national conference on priorities, adding that public expenditure had risen to unprecedented levels, reaching KD 21.4 billion ($66.5 billion) for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

He added that the expenditure had never previously exceeded KD 4 billion ($12 billion).

Kuwait Times further reported the finance minister saying that the government aimed to introduce financial and economic reforms that would help diversify the country’s sources of income, which would, in turn, ensure economic stability.

“We should all learn to cope with dwindling oil prices for the immediate future,” Al-Saleh said.