Kuwait’s 2020-21 budget deficit increases 175 percent to $35.5 billion

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Kuwait’s budget deficit reached 10.8 billion dinars ($35.5 billion) in the 2020-21 year, up 174.8 percent, the finance ministry said on Saturday.

Budget income fell to 10.5 billion dinars in the financial year that ended on March 31, down 38.9 percent, while expenditure increased 0.7 percent to 21.3 billion dinars, the ministry said in a statement.

Kuwait’s parliament in June approved the 2021-22 state budget proposed by the government in January, which projected 23.05 billion dinars in expenditure and a deficit of 12.1 billion dinars.

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The parliamentary vote came amid a stand-off between government and parliament that has delayed reforms in the OPEC member state.

Earlier this year, Kuwait’s finance minister said that an increase in oil revenues due to higher oil prices does not cover the Gulf state’s budget obligations.

Kuwait would need oil prices of $90 per barrel to balance the budget, the minister, Khalifa Hamada, said in a statement.

Brent crude oil futures settled at $70.70 on Friday, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell to $68.28 a barrel.

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