Kuwait is mulling a new law to put a cap on the number of expatriates working in the country. The bill proposes a cap of 15 per cent for Indians.

Expatriates in Kuwait waiting at a Covid-19 centre for mandatory testing. (Photo: Reuters)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Up to 8 lakh Indians working in Kuwait may have to leave the country
  • Kuwait is in the process of enacting a law to cap number of expatriates
  • A total of 25 lakh expatriates may have to leave Kuwait if the bill becomes law

Coronavirus pandemic has heralded biggest economic crisis in almost a century. Shutdown has been a global phenomenon. Kuwait which depends hugely on oil has suffered economically due to low demand for petroleum. Prices have recently crashed. The country braces for unemployment for local population.

To deal with a possible unemployment among local population, Kuwait is in the process of enacting a law that might force up to 8 lakh Indians leave the country. Indians form the largest community of expatriates in Kuwait.

Kuwait has a population of 48 lakh of its own. Indian expatriates in Kuwait are over 14 lakh. Kuwait’s Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah has reportedly said the country is bringing a law to cap the share of expatriates at 30 per cent. Currently, outsiders are 70 per cent of Kuwait’s population.

The draft law proposes that Indian should not number more than 15 per cent of Kuwait’s population. This means if the bill is passed, up to 8 lakh Indians will have to leave the country.

This bill has been mooted by five parliamentarians. It has been approved by the legal and legislative committee of the national assembly of Kuwait. The bill now will be considered by a standing committee, which will finalise the draft for fixing the quota system of expatriates. If passed in the current form, around 25 lakh foreign workers will have to leave Kuwait.

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