KUWAIT, April 30 Kuwait cannot start imposing
taxes on citizens because the quality of public services in the
Gulf Arab state is not good enough, a parliamentary committee
told the International Monetary Fund, local media reported on
The IMF, which has sent a team of experts to the major oil
producer before preparing its regular annual report on the
country's economy, has said the government needs to include the
tax system in its fiscal reforms.
Income is not taxed in Kuwait, one of the world's richest
countries per capita, and water, electricity and petrol are
"The committee has rejected in its meeting to impose any
taxes on citizens especially (given) that the level of public
services is not good enough," member of parliament Yusuf Zalala,
head of the assembly's financial and economic affairs committee,
was quoted by the daily Kuwait Times as saying.
The IMF has calculated that Kuwait may exhaust all its oil
savings by 2017 if it keeps raising state spending at the
current rapid rate. The international body therefore wants
Kuwait to expand its tax base, to provide stability in case of
any sharp fall in oil prices.
Some members of parliament have suggested that foreigners,
who make up around two thirds of Kuwait's 3.7 million
population, should pay more for services, but others have argued
this would dent the country's appeal to foreign companies.
Political infighting and bureaucracy have held up economic
development in Kuwait, and its public infrastructure and
services, from telecommunications to garbage collection, lag
other states in the Gulf such as the United Arab Emirates and