The Financial and Economic Committee of the Kuwaiti National Assembly announced postponing public debt bill session that would permit the government to conclude public loan agreements and financing operations from the local and international financial markets.
In a statement, the Committee said the session was delayed because the Minister of Finance, Khalifa Musaed Hamadeh and his deputy did not attend.
Ahmed Al-Hamad, head of the Committee, confirmed that government represented by the Minister of Finance requested the public debt law discussion session.
Al-Hamad said “the committee was surprised by the absence of the Minister of Finance, as well as the apology of the Acting Deputy Minister”.
He added that, “the Committee saw the government’s lack of seriousness. Accordingly, the session was postponed to another time so that there would be better representation”.
Public debt bill inquiries
Al-Hamad said there are several questions about the real motives of the public debt, which the committee would raise to the ministry. The committee would also ask where it is going to be spent and how it will be paid back.
The questions also include the method of managing the debt, and the level of transparency and governance.
Ahmed Al-Hamad pointed out that the Committee has many inquiries related to economic packages, “which the government is supposed to submit in order to give reassurance to the Committee and the National Assembly so that it is allowed this debt”.
Kuwait has not gone to the debt market since the issuance of (Euro Bones) in 2017. There is pressure on the current Kuwaiti government to know how to reduce the deficit, especially in light of narrow options.
The Kuwait Public Debt Law was suspended in September 2017.
Kuwait has turned to its sovereign fund to address the financial deficit it is going through, by liquidating assets, in the light of falling oil prices and high expenditures due to the Coronavirus crisis.
Kuwaiti Finance Minister Khalifa Musaed Hamadeh said that the government is committed to implementing its development projects and stimulating economic growth.