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Kuwait proposes bill to use $ 598.3 billion Future Generations Fund

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The Future Generation Fund, the world’s oldest sovereign wealth fund, has been established as a safeguard for the next generation of Kuwaitis.
Image credit: Yasmena Al Mulla

City of Kuwait: On Monday, the Kuwaiti government announced that it has submitted a bill to the National Assembly (parliament) to amend the law on the Future Generations Fund so that the government can withdraw up to five billion Kuwaiti dinars from the fund. in cover its growing deficit.

The KD181 billion ($ 598.3 billion) fund is currently outside government borders and has not been used since the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

This is the latest move by the Kuwaiti government to provide short-term liquidity as it is limited in money.

While parliament has been suspended until March 18 and a new government has not been formed since its predecessor resigned in December, the bill cannot be voted on until both branches return to the session. That said, many MPs have vowed to vote against the bill calling it dangerous.

The Future Generation Fund, the world’s oldest sovereign wealth fund, has been established as a safeguard for the next generation of Kuwaitis.

Lack of liquidity

The fall in oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic have both had a negative effect on Kuwait’s economy, as government spending has risen and state revenues have fallen.

Currently, the government is withdrawing money from the General Reserve Fund, the states’ main source of budget funding, to receive cash.

In an effort to generate more liquidity, back in August parliament passed a law that would limit the transfer of funds from the General Reserve Fund to Future Generation Funds. The law will allow funds to be transferred depending on a budget surplus. In the past, 10 percent would be automatically transferred from the General Reserve to the Future Generation Fund each year.

While Kuwait has struggled with a budget deficit since fiscal year 2015-2016, the government has tried to get a public debt law passed in parliament. The government and parliament have been stuck for the past two years over borrowing money from abroad.

In September, then-Finance Minister Barrak Al Shitan stated that if oil prices continue to fall and Kuwait is unable to borrow money from abroad, liquidity will soon run out.

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