Kuwait’s cabinet has approved a 10% tax on corporate profits to ease the state’s financial burden amidst low oil prices.Finance minister Anas Al-Saleh said the move is part of Kuwait’s initiatives to narrow its budget deficit.
No information was revealed about when the tax’s implementation would begin.The 10% tax is part of economic reforms underway in Kuwait.The move marks a significant shift in policy for the GCC state, where most Kuwaiti firms are not taxed on profits.
However, according to Arabian Business, “many foreign firms” pay these taxes.Furthermore, Saleh said the Kuwaiti government would look to privatising state-owned assets, such as airports, ports, and some facilities of national oil firm, Kuwait Petroleum Corp.
Saleh said the cabinet also approved a “repricing” of some commodities and public services.While he did not elaborate on this statement, it is believed this repricing operation will cover subsidy cuts for fuel, food, and utilities.
Other reforms in Kuwait include allowing citizens to own up to 50% of public-private joint ventures, reforming the labour market and the civil service system, and making the public sector more efficient by linking pay to production, the report added, citing state news agency, KUNA.
Subsidies, which cost GCC governments millions of dollars annually, have been a key component of state policies, which have refrained from doing away with these exemptions due to social concerns.
However, regional policy-makers have expressed support for economic reforms as oil prices weigh down on state spending and revenues.
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