Come July 1, Saudi Arabia is set to introduce a monthly expatriate levy on the dependants of expatriates in the kingdom. Following the announcement, many Indians employed in Saudi are planning to send their dependents back to the country, reported Times of India.
The monthly tax for an expatriate in Saudi Arabia is set to be at 100 riyals, which is approximately Rs 1,700, per month for each dependant. The move is set to hit the crucial Indian expatriate community in the Kingdom. Currently, companies that have more foreigners than locals on their payroll spend 200 riyals every month for every expatriate, reported Gulf News.
“Some families I know have made plans to return to Hyderabad as they feel they cannot afford to stay there any longer,” a Dammam-based computer professional Mohd Taher was quoted as saying by TOI. Migrant rights activist Bheem Reddy Mandha added people had already sent their families back in the past four months. “The men have become forced bachelors,” he added. The tax is reportedly set to go up by 100 riyals per dependent every year till 2020.
The move is part of cost-cutting, financial issues and a drive to employ more Saudis in the face of oil slump.
Though there are a few companies that are thinking of compensating their employees for the dependent fee, expatriates are mostly required to pay it themselves, reported TOI. While speaking on the effect of the tax on Indian expatriates, a senior official in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said: “It will affect all expats.”