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Kuwait development plan funding mechanism to be endorsed after Eid Al-Adha

KUWAIT, Nov 1 (KUNA) -- Kuwait said Monday a mechanism about financing the mega development plan would be approved following Eid Al-Adha holiday, or towards end of November.
The long-term development plan is designed to bring together private and public sectors, and includes policies based on specific plans, Deputy Premier for Economic Affairs Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Sabah said in a speech before Kuwait's Financial Forum.
The multi-billion-dinar development plan will benefit the private sector in a drive to minimize impacts of global financial crisis and boost economic growth of Kuwait, said Sheikh Ahmad, also Minister of State for Development and Minister of State for Housing.
He said supervision and follow-up regime in Kuwait was still weak "so it is difficult for the state to place its policies for 63 percent of human development because they are complex policies." This problem will be addressed through application of joint programs processed by experienced committees, he added.
Sheikh Ahmad said 25 percent of the development plan have been accomplished despite late financial endorsements.
The first phase of the development plan consumed 10 percent of this year's budget, or KD 900 million. This year's fiscal year is designed to spend KD four billion on the plan.
Sheikh Ahmad projected better results in the upcoming six months.
He explained that there were 45 projects, of them 25 were referred to the National Assembly, or parliament. Nine ventures have been already approved.
There are 14 projects like Sheikh Jaber Bridge, Al-Surra Hospital, a power station and four residential cities, he said, while noting that 50 percent of the development plans would be offered for public subscription.
The plan is designed to turn Kuwait into a financial and commercial hub, he said. "We have started with the economic diplomacy to achieve that and headed to East Asia, America and Europe with blessing of His Highness the Amir to bring the plan to light." The Kuwaiti official said the government would create lucrative investment opportunities and environment with the participation of private sector. Legislations related to privatization and BOT are being modified as well.
Sheikh Ahmad said the government would establish five companies, three of which would not need funding. One firm will be about health care, the second about electricity and the third about warehousing.
He said there was a study to impose taxes and fees, as well as collecting revenues of investments to secure steady income.
Taxes on individuals and companies will be discussed with the World Bank, he said.
Sheikh Ahmad said there was a focus on backing public shareholding companies, manufacturing and recycling industries.
He also called for supporting banks that should be a major partner in development. (end) mfs.bs KUNA 012044 Nov 10NNNN