Updated: July 6, 2020 7:58:04 pm
Over 8 lakh Indians could be forced out of Kuwait if a new bill on expats is enacted into law, the Gulf News reported. The legal and legislative committee of Kuwait’s National Assembly has approved the draft expat quota bill, according to which Indians should not exceed 15% of the population.
Anti-expat rhetoric has been on the rise since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic with lawmakers and government officials call for reducing the number of foreigners in Kuwait.
The bill has been deemed constitutional and will now be transferred to the respective committee so that a comprehensive plan is created, according to reports.
Of the 4.3 million population of Kuwait, expats account for 3 million. The Indian community constitutes the largest expat community in Kuwait, totaling 1.45 million, the report added.
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Last month, Kuwait’s prime minister, Sheikh Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah, proposed decreasing the number of expats from 70 per cent to 30 per cent of the population.
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. The Speaker said the draft law they intend to file will propose to impose a cap on the number of expats, whose numbers must decrease gradually by stating that this year expats will be 70 per cent, next year 65 per cent and so on, the report said.
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.
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 virus cases as the disease spread among migrant workers living in overcrowded housing. As per the latest numbers from John Hopkins University, Kuwait has close to 50,000 cases
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