Bribes cost Kuwait $2 bil­lion a year: IMF

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL - By A Saleh

KUWAIT: A re­cent study pre­pared by the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund (IMF) on be­half of the Kuwaiti gov­ern­ment sug­gested that the an­nual cost of bribery is close to two per­cent of the to­tal GDP, ie around $2 bil­lion (KD 670 mil­lion). The study es­ti­mated the amount of cor­rup­tion caused by bribery in Kuwait ac­cord­ing to in­ter­na­tional stan­dards used by IMF, sug­gest­ing that these fig­ures may ex­ceed two per­cent of Kuwait’s GPD be­cause of oil money, which is con­sid­ered ‘easy in­come’. Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, the cost of cor­rup­tion adds up to 25 per­cent to an­nual gov­ern­ment con­tracts, ie KD 1.8 bil­lion ($3.8 bil­lion). Ac­cord­ing to the 2016 cor­rup­tion in­dex re­port is­sued by Trans­parency In­ter­na­tional in Ber­lin, Kuwait re­treated 20 points last year to be ranked 75, after it was ranked 55th in 2015. The re­port also showed that Kuwait is ranked sev­enth among Arab states and the worst in the GCC.

Tem­po­rary costs

Fol­low­ing the Awqaf coun­cil’s meet­ing yes­ter­day, Min­is­ter of Awqaf and Is­lamic Af­fairs and Min­is­ter of State for Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs Mo­hammed Nasser Al-Jabri an­nounced that the coun­cil de­cided to al­lo­cate KD 1 mil­lion to build tem­po­rary mosques in a num­ber of ar­eas around Kuwait to re­place tem­po­rary un­li­censed pray­ing ar­eas set up by res­i­dents on gov­ern­ment prop­erty, which will be removed. Jabri added that the new mosques will be built of readymix con­crete pan­els to fa­cil­i­tate speedy con­struc­tion, cut costs and fa­cil­i­tate dis­man­tling them later to be moved to other lo­ca­tions. Jabri said the new mosques will be su­per­vised by the min­istry to pre­vent unau­tho­rized imams and preach­ers from us­ing them.

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