Kuwait Government removing expats to balance demographic imbalance
Kuwait’s prime minister His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah has said the country’s expatriate population should be more than halved to 30% of the total, as the coronavirus pandemic and a slump in oil prices send shudders through gulf economies.
The State of Kuwait is facing a “big challenge” to address the discrepancy in the structure of the population, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah said Wednesday. Kuwait has a population of some 4.8 million people, of the 1.45 million Kuwaitis and around 3.34 million non-Kuwaitis, or 30 to 70 percent ratio, he said.
To resolve the “demographic imbalance,” the Kuwaiti government has vowed to slash foreign population in the Gulf state from the present 70 percent foreigners down to 30 percent.
Kuwait’s state budgets have been slammed by tumbling oil prices sparked by the novel coronavirus pandemic, pushing it to seek ways to provide more jobs to its own citizens, the report added.
Kuwait Airways state-owned airline said last week it would lay off 1,500 expatriate employees due to “significant difficulties” caused by the pandemic.
Kuwait lawmakers call to adopt a quota system for main Expat communities in the country in a bid to balance the demographic structure. The draft law stipulates a certain percentage for the main Expat communities in the country depending on its current size as the proposed percentage is from the Kuwaiti population of 1.4 million at present.
His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah said 224 companies had been referred to public prosecutors based on information they broke laws by trading in residency permits, referring to a practice that illegally brings in overseas workers and transfers them between employers.
“We are responsible for everyone who lives on this land and the residency trade has exhausted the state,” he said, “especially when dealing with the current situation.”
Source: KWT Today