KUWAIT (Reuters) - The Kuwaiti government has tendered its resignation to the Gulf Arab state's ruler to avert a questioning of the prime minister in parliament amid a protracted political crisis, several deputies said on Monday.

Any resignation might further delay approval of a rescue plan worth 1.5 billion dinars ($5.11 billion) including bank guarantees to soften the impact of the global financial crisis.

The resignation has been submitted formally and it's up to the emir (ruler) to decide, MP Nasser al-Duwailah told reporters in parliament. Deputy Abdul-Latif al-Amiri and an MP who declined to be identified said the same.

Parliamentary Speaker Jassim al-Kharafi said he had not been informed yet of any government resignation or any decision by the ruler to dissolve parliament until this moment.

There was no immediate comment by the government which was due to hold its weekly meeting on Monday.

Earlier this month, several MPs submitted a request to question Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah, pushing to crisis point a long-running dispute between parliament and the government.

If the resignation is confirmed, the ruler, who has the last say in politics, can either accept it and appoint a prime minister to form a fresh cabinet or dissolve parliament.

A similar crisis led to the resignation of the cabinet in November but the ruler reappointed his nephew as prime minister.

Several economic bills such as a plan to set up a financial regulator have been delayed as the OPEC member has been hit by a series of political crises.

Kuwait has already been forced to step in to save its fifth-largest lender Gulf Bank as the global financial crisis bites despite the country's substantial oil revenues.

(Reporting by Rania El Gamal, Ulf Laessing and Mahmud Harbi; Editing by Dominic Evans)

($1=.2935 Kuwaiti Dinar)