Kuwait ministry vigilant against construction subsidy 'black market'
Ministry of Commerce and Industry is working 'diligently' to ensure subsidies reach appropriate benefactors
Kuwait’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Moci) is working “diligently” to ensure that construction materials subsidies provided as part of Decree 232/2018 are reaching benefactors directly in the country and are not used in an illicit manner to create a black market, it was announced after the GCC country’s ministry revealed that its construction subsidies in 2018 totalled $412.5m (KWD125m).
Head of Moci’s subsidies department, Salah Al-Rashidi, said the ministry was monitoring prices of construction materials to ensure no illegal practices were being followed in the market.
Decree 232 is aimed at serving citizens that require construction materials, with Al-Rashidi stating that the funds would be provided for limestone, paints, electrical cables, ceramics, porcelain, and water and heat insulators, among others.
According to Moci regulations, subsidies must not exceed $98,558 (KWD30,000) for citizens that are given $27,000 (KWD8,460) for 50 tons of steel, 100m of white stone, 2,000 bags of cement, and 450m3 of ready-mixed concrete.
The ministry is also offering 15,000 cement blocks at around $6,300 (KWD1,920), central air-conditioners for $16,500 (KWD5,000), external paints for $2,600 (KWD800), and limestone for $4,290 (KWD1,300).
Khaled Al-Otabi, Moci’s head of quality development, a voluntary group at the entity, said the negative impact of a black market for construction materials “could not be stressed enough”, with the official adding that expanding the list of subsidised materials would further benefit citizens, Kuwaiti state news agency, Kuna, reported.