The nation's financial status faces a number of challenges, chief among them being the continuous spike in budgetary expenditures and concomitantly the risk of incurring deficits, besides the pressure on Kuwait's oil revenues from foreign shale oil and gas discoveries, said minister of Finance Anas Al-Saleh, addressing a session of the National Assembly on Thursday.
Reviewing the nation's budget for fiscal 2014-2015 before the lawmakers, the minister urged reforms in the nation's budgetary policy, including paying more attention to generating non-oil-based revenues and rationing general expenditures with the view to meet the aspirations of the people for more growth and development.
Regarding some features of the new budget for fiscal 2014-2015, the minister said that expenditure is estimated to reach KD 21.68 billion, out of which revenues from oil should be KD 18.81 billion.
On the other hand, total earnings are estimated at KD 20.07 billion, he said, indicating that there could be a deficit of KD 6.63 billion in the budget for that fiscal year.
The minister noted that the nation's GDP in 2012 topped KD 51.3 billion with a growth rate of 15.7 percent from the year before, expecting that the rate of inflation will remain at its low level of only four percent for the years from 2015 through 2019.
Moreover, he said that the IMF expects that Kuwait's GDP will increase to KD 59.3 billion in 2019.
The minister furthermore expected that the population of Kuwait might reach 4.6 million people in 2019.