Photo of Kuwait City seen from Salmiya with the Green Island in the foreground. — Kuna

KUWAIT: The drop in the state's general reserves has reached around  KD 12 billion over the past two years; that is since the oil prices started falling, according to well-informed sources. Around KD 5.95 billion had been withdrawn from the general reserves in 2015, the sources indicated, adding that the number jumped to KD 6 billion in 2016 to cover the budget deficit, whereas only a part of those amounts was returned to the future generations' fund. Moreover, the sources expected that the budget deficit would reach KD 6 billion by the end of the fiscal year 2016-2017, especially since it has already reached KD 5 billion by the end of  January.

Meanwhile, official sources said that in case the parliament passes a bill to increase the allocations for the government's treatment overseas program, the 2016-2017 budget might suffer an extra KD 500 million deficit, which would increase the estimated total deficit to KD 8 billion. Notably, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Anas Al-Saleh had stated last July that the 2016-2017 fiscal year's deficit is expected to reach KD 9.9 billion, but actual figures seem to have come less than he expected. - Al-Rai