Kuwait to levy new fees on public services
Cairo: Kuwait plans to levy new fees on accessing public utilities and public services as part of government efforts to boost state revenue, the country’s Finance Minister Fahd Al Jarallah has disclosed.
He said that the government’s programme for increasing and developing state revenue includes launching a pricing mechanism for public services, fees and violations to be updated on a periodic basis and issuing a framework for revising and repricing the state-owned property heeding “justice and productivity rates”.
Al Jarallah was answering a query from a lawmaker. “Accordingly, the state moves to impose new fees in return for benefiting from public utilities and services while stressing for the competent government agencies, in case of pricing their services, the necessity of having an appropriate legal tool to impose the fees,” he said without giving a specific timeframe for implementation.
Foreigners make up nearly 3.4 million of Kuwait’s overall population of 4.6 million.
The country is seeking to redress its demographic imbalance and replace foreign workers with its citizens as part of an employment policy dubbed “Kuwaitisation”.
The Kuwaiti government has recently unveiled measures to protect state money and collect overdue revenue.
As of September 1, Kuwait began implementing a government decree requiring all expatriates to pay their electricity and water bills before leaving the country.
Earlier, the Interior Ministry alerted foreigners to clear all their outstanding traffic fines before leaving the country.
Around KD4 million has since been collected from expatriates and Gulf nationals departing Kuwait, Al Qabas newspaper has reported, citing a security source.
“The collected money included traffic violations worth KD1.1 million during two months while an additional KD2.9 million was collected in electricity and water bills on September 1-23,” added the source.