Kuwait: Expat quota bill cleared, 8 lakh Indians might be forced to leave

DY365
DY365
Published: July 6,2020 03:26 PM
DY365

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July 06, 2020: Around 8 lakh Indians may have to leave the gulf nation of Kuwait if the country’s new bill on expatriates comes into force.

July 06, 2020: Around 8 lakh Indians may have to leave the gulf nation of Kuwait if the country’s new bill on expatriates comes into force.



Reportedly, Kuwait’s 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 per cent of the population. This could result in 800,000 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.



The current population of Kuwait is 4.3 million, with Kuwaitis making up 1.3 million of the population, and expats accounting for 3 million. 



The move comes a month after Kuwait’s Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah had said that the country’s expatriate population should be reduced from 70 to 30 per cent of the total.



“We have a future challenge to redress this imbalance,” Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah told a local media publication, and the statement was released by state-run Kuwait News Agency or KUNA. 



According to the Indian embassy in Kuwait, there are about 28,000 Indians working for the Kuwaiti Government in various jobs like nurses, engineers in national oil companies and a few as scientists.



The majority of Indians (5.23 Lakh) are deployed in private sectors.



In addition, there are about 1.16 lakh dependents. Out of these, there are about 60,000 Indian students studying in 23 Indian schools in the country.



The bill will now be transferred to the respective committee so that a comprehensive plan is created. It proposes similar quotas for other nationalities. Kuwait is a top source of remittances for India. In 2018, India received nearly USD 4.8 billion from Kuwait as remittances.



Foreigners have accounted for the majority of Kuwait's COVID-19 cases as the disease spread among migrant workers living in overcrowded housing.