Kuwait: Measures needed to end corruption

Adel Al Mutairi
Al-Anba

Kuwait needs to take measures to combat corruption, reduce foreign aid and impose corporate
taxes as part of austerity measures to deal with low oil prices and cover the fiscal deficit, says a
columnist in the Gulf emirate. Adel Al Mutairi believes measures taken by the government such
as cutting petrol subsidies and social aid to citizens are not enough to bridge the budget deficit
caused by the steep fall in crude prices. “As part of its austerity policy, the government needs to
take the following measures to ensure there will be no fiscal deficit at the end of the year. The
first step should be fighting corruption,” he says in an article published in Kuwaiti’s Arabic
language daily Al-Anba. “The other measures should include reducing foreign aid, introducing
limited taxes on companies operating in the country, and increasing electricity fees. The
government should also liberalise the tenders market so that large foreign companies will be able
to bid for contracts directly instead of having a local agent.” The writer believes that the fiscal
deficit is temporary as the decline in oil prices is not permanent. “The budget will revert to a
surplus after oil prices rebound and this means that austerity measures could be only temporary.
However, they could be enforced permanently when the country’s oil resources are depleted.”


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