Kuwait’s draft ex-pat quota bill could have many Indians returning home, worrying news for India as Kuwait is also a top source of remittances for India.
The Legal and legislative committee of Kuwait’s National Assembly has approved the draft ex-pat quota bill.
This could result in as many as 8 lakh Indians leaving the country and on their way home.
According to the bill approved, Indian’s should not exceed 15 percent of the total population.
The Bill is to be transferred to the respective committee so that a comprehensive plan is created.
The National Assembly’s legal and legislative committee has determined that the draft ex-pat bill is constitutional, reported Gulf News citing local media reports.
Kuwait has a total population of 4.3 million and ex-pats account for 3 million.
Indians constitute the largest ex-pat population in Kuwait totalling 1.45 million.
The Bill could have as many as 8 lakh Indians affected.
Since the outbreak of COVID- 19, the lawmakers and government officials have voiced the anti – ex-pat speech, to reduce the number of foreigners in Kuwait.
Kuwait currently has approximately 49,000 cases of coronavirus in the country.
Kuwait’s prime minister, Sheikh Sabah Al Khalid Sabah, proposed decreasing the number of ex-pats from 70 percent to 30 percent of the population.
The main reason for such a step could be due to the slump in oil prices and the coronavirus outbreak that has strained its economy.
For many years Kuwait has been trying to reduce its ex-pat population and the outbreak of coronavirus has made the same possible.
This announcement is a push by the government to reduce, especially the unskilled migrant workers, as they put immense strain on the economy.
A quota system and its implementation will replace an estimated 100,000 expatriate government employees with Kuwaitis.
The coronavirus has caused oil prices to drop to historic lows and this is not bearing well with the economy.
Most of the Gulf is expected to run deficits of 15 – 25% of economic output, resulting in building up of debt and dwindling resources.
Before the pandemic, the region leveraged its oil wealth to expand its populations with foreign workers and thus build a vibrant consumer society.
This is set to change with the approval of the ex-pat quota bill.