Last Updated: Tue Nov 02, 2010 20:31 pm (KSA) 17:31 pm (GMT)

Kuwait to pay benefits to some laid-off citizens

Kuwait, which like other Gulf Arab countries, has been hit hard by the financial crisis (File)
Kuwait, which like other Gulf Arab countries, has been hit hard by the financial crisis (File)

Kuwait, the world's fourth largest oil exporter, will pay monthly benefits to citizens who have lost jobs in the private sector in the wake of the global financial crisis.

The Gulf Arab state's cabinet approved measures on Monday that would give laid off Kuwaitis 60 percent of their final monthly salary and 220 dinars ($766.3) for a maximum of one year.

The ruling applies to Kuwaitis -- the majority of whom work for the government -- who have lost private-sector jobs since August 2008 and covers all citizens laid off this year, the cabinet said in its weekly report carried by state news agency KUNA.

No figures were given on how many Kuwaitis lost jobs due to the crisis or how many would benefit from the scheme. Kuwaitis form some 1.05 million of the country's total 3.4 million population.

The OPEC member, which like other Gulf Arab countries, has been hit hard by the financial crisis. Last year, Kuwait stepped in to save Gulf Bank, the only major bank in the Gulf Arab region to require a government bailout, while several major Kuwaiti investment firms are struggling to meet debt requirements and have laid off employees to cut cost.

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