By B Izzak
KUWAIT: The finance ministry on Tuesday released the draft state budget for the 2023/2024 fiscal year, projecting a huge deficit of KD 5 billion due to a sharp drop in oil revenues and a rise in expenditures, the ministry said in a statement. The draft budget was approved by the Cabinet before resigning last week and it will become official only after its approval by the National Assembly.
Revenues in the fiscal year, which starts on April 1, were projected at KD 19.6 billion, down a massive 16.9 percent compared to this fiscal year’s estimated income of KD 23.4 billion, the statement said. Oil income in the year was projected to slide a hefty 19.5 percent to KD 17.2 billion from KD 21.3 billion estimated for the current fiscal year, it said.
Expenditures on the other hand were projected to soar by 11.7 percent to KD 26.3 billion from this year’s estimates of KD 23.5 billion, according to the ministry. This will leave a projected deficit of KD 6.8 billion, way above the estimated deficit of just KD 124 million, according to the ministry’s statistics. The main reasons for the sharp rise in the budget deficit were a major rise in wages and subsidies to…