The Gulf state of Kuwait, under financial stress due to low oil prices, plans to end all forms of public subsidies by 2020, a report published on Monday said. A committee set up by the finance ministry to review all public subsidies said it plans to gradually reduce subsidies until it ends them completely by 2020, according to the report published by Al-Qabas newspaper.
Public subsidies and social aid are estimated in the current fiscal year’s budget at over USD 3 billion, about five percent of projected spending The oil-rich emirate has already lifted subsidies on diesel and kerosene which are being priced according to international oil price.
Kuwait partially lifted subsidies on petrol sparking a political crisis that led to the dissolution of parliament and calls for new elections. The government had also secured the backing of the parliament before it was dissolved to raise electricity and water prices paid by foreign residents and businesses but exempted Kuwait citizens.