Kuwait calls for understanding on spending cuts amid coronavirus pandemic

(170329) — DEAD SEA, March 29, 2017 (Xinhua) — The Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (front) attends the 28th Arab League Summit at the Dead Sea, south of the capital Amman, Jordan, on March 29, 2017. The 28th ordinary Arab League Summit opened in Dead Sea, Jordan on Wednesday morning, with 15 state leaders from the 22 member states attending the meeting. (Xinhua/Meng Tao) (sxk)

DUBAI (RAHNUMA): Kuwait’s prime minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah called for understanding on ‘critical circumstances’ that required the country to cut spending to address the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on economy, state news agency KUNA reported.

Al-Sabah, who earlier chaired an online cabinet briefing on a government stimulus package, added that authorities should follow all the rules and present “serious cooperation in order to overcome this phase with the least damage possible.”

The stimulus package includes a reduction in its discount rate and an offer of up to $811,000 in soft loans for owners of small to medium-sized enterprises and payable in four years.

A delay in helping companies and SMEs would negatively impact the country’s economy to the extent that they may go bankrupt, Kuwait’s central bank chief Dr. Mohammad Al-Hashel said.

The Kuwaiti cabinet has also approved the Ministry of Finance’s proposals to not raise budgets of independent public authorities, institutions and funds for five years, and also lowering their budgets by 20 percent for the years 2020 and 2021.

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