By B Izzak

KUWAIT: The Council of Ministers, acting as a caretaker Cabinet dealing with necessary matters, yesterday approved the 2021/2022 budget, projecting a deficit of KD 12.1 billion. Spending in the budget, which starts on April 1, is estimated at KD 23 billion, while revenues are projected at KD 10.9 billion.

Both spending and revenues are higher than projections for the current fiscal year. Expenditures in the current year are estimated at KD 21.6 billion, while revenues are projected at KD 7.6 billion, leaving a deficit of KD 14 billion. The increase in revenues is due to a rise in oil prices, which provide the majority of Kuwait's public income.

Adding up the deficits of the current and next fiscal years takes the total deficit to KD 26.1 billion. Budget deficits are covered by the state reserve fund, which is separate from the fund for future generations, whose assets are estimated at around $600 billion. Former finance minister Barrak Al-Sheetan had repeatedly warned that the state reserve fund will soon run out of cash because of huge spending and low income.