OPEC member Kuwait projected a record budget deficit for the fiscal year starting April 1 on the sliding price of oil, the finance ministry said on Thursday.

The shortfall for the 2016-2017 fiscal year is estimated at 11.5 billion dinars ($38 billion) due to a sharp decline in oil revenues, the ministry said on its Twitter account.

Spending was estimated at 18.9 billion dinars, just 1.6 percent lower than in the current year, the ministry said.

Revenues were projected at 7.4 billion dinars, of which oil income is estimated at $19.1 billion or just 78 percent of the public revenues.

In the past, income from oil contributed more than 94 percent of revenues in the Gulf emirate, before the decline in crude prices.

Kuwait has projected a shortfall of $23 billion in the current fiscal year which ends March 31, the first deficit after 16 years of surplus.

The Gulf state, which has a native population of just 1.3 million, has built around $600 billion in fiscal reserves in those years.

 

AFP

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Editor-in-Chief Specializing in Near Eastern Affairs and Economics.

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