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Bribes cost Kuwait $2 billion a year: IMF

KUWAIT: A recent study prepared by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on behalf of the Kuwaiti government suggested that the annual cost of bribery is close to two percent of the total GDP, ie around $2 billion (KD 670 million) annually. The study estimated the amount of corruption caused by bribery in Kuwait according to international standards used by IMF, suggesting that these figures may exceed two percent of Kuwait’s GPD because of oil money, which is considered ‘easy income’. According to the report, the cost of corruption adds up to 25 percent to annual government contracts, ie KD 1.8 billion ($3.8 billion). According to the 2016 corruption index report issued by Transparency International in Berlin, Kuwait retreated 20 points last year to be ranked 75, after it was ranked 55th in 2015. The report also showed that Kuwait is ranked seventh among Arab states and the worst in the GCC.

Temporary costs
Following the Awqaf council’s meeting yesterday, Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs and Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Mohammed Nasser Al-Jabri announced that the council decided to allocate KD 1 million to build temporary mosques in a number of areas around Kuwait to replace temporary unlicensed praying areas set up by residents on government property, which will be removed. Jabri added that the new mosques will be built of readymix concrete panels to facilitate speedy construction, cut costs and facilitate dismantling them later to be moved to other locations. Jabri said the new mosques will be supervised by the ministry to prevent unauthorized imams and preachers from using them.

By A Saleh


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