Abu Dhabi: Nearly 1.2 billion dinars ($4 billion) is lost annually to corruption in Kuwait, according chairman of the Kuwait Economic Society, Abdul Wahab Al Rasheed.
Al Rashhed said the financial crisis gives Kuwait three options: resorting to public debt, direct withdrawal from the reserves of Future Generations Fund, or both.
Al Rasheed told a symposium, entitled ‘The Impact of Corruption on the National Economy’, organised by the Economic Society on Saturday, the imbalances experienced by the economy are met with “political and national indifference” on the part of officials and decision-makers, stressing that failure to take the right decision at the right time is the worst form of corruption.
He stressed that unless there is real economic reform, the consequences will be very serious, as the budget deficit in 2035 is expected to reach about 200 billion dinars (approximately $665 billion), which is almost the value of the sovereign fund’s assets.
Former Minister and MP Ahmed Baqer said: “Corruption has many effects on the economy, the first of which is the weakening of those calling for economic reform, and the wasting of a lot of public funds. The time has come to legislate the “Parliamentary Values” law and another law to set general rules for appointment and promotions in leadership positions to prevent nepotism.
Former MP Abdul Rahman Al Anjari said Kuwait has suffered during the past two decades from a significant rise in corruption, pointing out that Kuwait was one of the countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council that spent the least on capital projects at 7 per cent of the gross national product.
Al Anjari added: “Corruption in Kuwait has become a social problem and a societal culture after it reached various political institutions, and if this culture continues, society may reach the stage of reconciliation with corruption.”
MP Dr. Hassan Gohar described the government’s economic and financial reform steps as “weak and far from professionalism”, citing the recent formation of the Board of Directors of the Investment Authority, which was not assigned to specialists.