Kuwaiti govt sees 2012-3 expenditure at $75.6 bln

KUWAIT, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Kuwait's cabinet approved aslightly revised budget for the current fiscal year withprojected expenditure of 21.24 billion dinars ($75.6 billion),state news agency KUNA reported late on Tuesday.

The draft law, which still needs approval of the country'sruler, sees revenues at 13.93 billion dinars, KUNA said, citingFinance Minister Nayef al-Hajraf.

The Gulf Arab state already announced a draft budget inMarch for the current fiscal year which ends next March 31, butpolitical turmoil means it has not been approved by parliament.Instead, Hajraf said last month that he expected the budget tobe approved by the emir's decree.

The figures announced on Tuesday are broadly similar to theprevious version of the budget, and envisage a spending increaseof about 9.5 percent from last fiscal year's budgeted spendingand 25 percent from last year's actual spending.

The original budget projection was based on an oil price of$65 a barrel. Although the plan assumes a budget deficit, globaloil prices are currently trading well above $100, so Kuwait islikely to post a surplus.

The draft takes into account a plan announced last month tomore than double the portion of state revenues which the countryputs into a rainy day fund, KUNA said. Kuwait plans to put 25percent of revenues into the future generations fund, comparedto 10 percent at present.

The OPEC member state booked a record budget surplus of 13.2billion dinars in 2011/2012, thanks to strong oil income andlower spending.

While Kuwait's fiscal position is strong, it has beenstruggling with persistent political upheaval which has held upinvestment plans. Analysts also say it needs to diversify itsoil-reliant economy.

Kuwait's ruler ordered the dissolution of parliament onSunday, opening the way to a parliamentary election after monthsof political deadlock. It was the sixth dissolution ofparliament since early 2006.

(Reporting by Sylvia Westall; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

((sylvia.westall@thomsonreuters.com)(+965 2240 8945)(ReutersMessaging: sylvia.westall.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))


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