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Kuwait to spend $56bn next year

Kuwait plans to spend about 16 billion dinars ($56bn) in the fiscal year starting April 1, one-third more than the current year as oil prices rise.

Finance Minister Mustafa al-Shimali announced the figure in parliament today, declining to give a number for the projected deficit.Next year’s budget will be based on an oil price of $43 a barrel, compared with $35 this year, al-Shimali said Feb. 1.

Gulf countries are boosting spending to help their economies recover after the global recession, encouraged by oil prices which have almost doubled in the past year to about $75 a barrel. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Abu Dhabi have announced plans to spend $600bn by 2013.

Kuwait’s parliament yesterday approved a government development plan that will cost 30 billion dinars over four years and includes investments to boost oil and gas production and build a railway network, new cities and a port.

About 4.5 billion dinars of that money will be spent in the next fiscal year, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Sheikh Ahmed al-Fahad al-Sabah told parliament.

The emirate, which expects to spend 12.1 billion dinars in the current fiscal year, posted a budget surplus of 2.74 billion dinars last year as it benefited from higher oil sales.


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