Kuwait City: A Kuwaiti MP proposed Wednesday state-aid for male citizens to take second wives, in a bid to reduce the large number of unmarried women in the Gulf country.

“The proposal aims at solving the problem of unmarried women, which is a problem facing our society, and encourages widows and divorced men and women to form new families," independent Shiite MP Faisal Al Duwaisan said.

The state already grants Kuwaiti men who wed a female citizen for the first time a marriage aid of 4,000 dinars ($14,000), half of which is a grant and the rest an interest-free loan with easy installments.

But Al Duwaisan wants the government to grant an additional aid package for men to take second wives, provided certain conditions are met. The prospective grooms must obtain written permission from their existing wives to marry again, or they must be widowed or divorced.

The women they marry must be widows, divorced or at least 40 years of age and never married, Duwaisan said in his proposal, which was submitted to parliament. Parliamentary panels will review the proposal, then send it to parliament for consideration. If approved, it will become law.

Kuwait, the fifth-largest producer inside the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, provides a cradle-to-grave welfare system by offering most public services at highly-subsidised rates. Education and health are free for citizens.