A total of eight lakh Indians could be forced to leave Kuwait as its National Assembly committee has approved a draft expat quota bill seeking to reduce the number of foreign workers in the Gulf country.
The National Assembly’s legal and legislative committee has determined that the expat quota bill is constitutional.
According to the bill, Indians should not exceed 15% of the population. This could result in 8,00,000 Indians leaving Kuwait, as the Indian community constitutes the largest expat community in the country, totalling 1.45 million, the Gulf News reported, citing a Kuwaiti newspaper.
Amid a slump in oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a spike in anti-expat rhetoric as lawmakers and government officials call for reducing the number of foreigners in Kuwait.
Last month, Kuwait’s Prime minister Sheikh Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah proposed reducing the number of expats from 70 per cent to 30 per cent of the population, the report said.
Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem told Kuwait TV that he and a group of lawmakers will submit to the Assembly a comprehensive draft law calling for a gradual reduction of expats in Kuwait.
kuwait newsVehicles drive down a highway in Kuwait City KEY HIGHLIGHTSThe newly-passed bill says Indians should not exceed 15% of total population in KuwaitAround 1.45 million Indians are living in Kuwait and some eight lakh face ouster from the country now
Kuwait City: Amid the coronavirus pandemic and its rising economic repercussions on countries, Kuwait government on Sunday approved an expat quota bill which limits the number of Indians living in the Gulf nation. With the approval to the bill, the fate of nearly eight lakh Indians living in Kuwait now hangs in the balance.
According to local media in Kuwait, the National Assembly’s legal and legislative committee has determined that the draft quota bill is constitutional. The bill will be transferred to the respective committee so that a comprehensive plan is created.
The bill states that Indians should not exceed 15 per cent of the total population in Kuwait.
Kuwait has a total population of over 43 lakh people, out of which nearly 30 lakh are expats. Reportedly, there are around 14.5 lakh Indians living in Kuwait and with the approval to the expat bill, some eight lakh Indians may be now forced to leave Kuwait.
Curiously, this development has come in the wake of coronavirus pandemic and its increasing economic impact on major countries. Lawmakers and government officials have been calling for a reduced number of foreigners in Kuwait in order to provide more and better employment opportunities to their local population.
According to a report, Kuwait Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah had recently proposed decreasing the number of expats living in the country from 70 per cent to 30 per cent of the total population.
Foreigners have accounted for the majority of Kuwait’s COVID-19 cases as the disease spread among migrant workers living in overcrowded housing.
According to latest data from Johns Hopkins University, more than 49,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported in Kuwait. Globally, more than 5 lakh people have died and over 11 million have been infected by COVID-19.