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Ministries may raise tariffs for services

KUWAIT: Government sources revealed that the Council of Ministers received replies from some ministries regarding the issue of raising charges and tariffs for various services. “Ministries, including Interior, Health and Electricity, responded in an official memo, that according to studies, fees must be raised based on a reasoning that current tariffs are too low in comparison with services offered and they are significantly lower than the tariffs that exist in the countries in the region,” sources revealed to Kuwait Times.

“The Electricity Ministry intends to increase tariffs by 50 percent from current rates, especially since the production costs are too high and consumes much of the state’s budget without positive return to the public storage. New prices, if implemented, will not exhaust citizens, but will halt some current negativities,” sources added,

“The health ministry also intends to raise charges of medical tests such as X-rays and some medical equipment usages in hospitals, as well as charges of operations and rent for private rooms. Moreover, raising the charges of gynecological services are in the pipeline and they are only awaiting a final decision,” the sources added. They said that the increase in charges does not need a parliamentary approval as it is within the ministry’s authority.

“The Interior Ministry is also raising charges regarding the issuance of driving license, traffic violations, residency and other services by various departments,” the sources added pointing out that the increase for each contracts may be raised from KD 5 to KD 10 depending on the type of services given.

When asked if these hikes will affect general prices in the country in different fields, the sources said that the hikes in governmental charges are unlikely to have an impact on inflation. “Fixing the prices of commercial products is done by the Commerce and Industry Ministry and under strict supervision. These measures will deter businessmen from abusing the situation to jack up prices,” the sources added.

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