Kuwait’s Finance Ministry is preparing a proposal for imposing taxes on Kuwaiti companies to boost government revenues, the local press has reported.

Sheikh Salem Abdulaziz al-Sabah, deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, is reported to have said that the government is studying proposals to implement a tax system on local companies, and that the Finance Ministry is coordinating with authorities in other GCC countries to look at developing a tax system.

Moves toward establishing a tax system follow shortly after a speech by Kuwait’s Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber al- Mubarak al-Sabah, in which he urged Kuwaitis to reduce their dependence on the state. According to the Finance Minister, government expenditure on subsidies has increased by four times in the past nine financial years, and that subsidies has a big impact on government revenues.

However, any proposals to impose tax would require the approval of the national assembly, and introducing legislation may face stiff opposition from within the government and parliament.