8 lakh Indians may be forced to leave Kuwait as Gulf country approves expat quota bill

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on July 06, 2020

The legal and legislative committee of Kuwait’s National Assembly has approved a draft Bill to reduce the number of foreign workers in the country, according to reports.

The Bill could impact Indian workers in the country in a big way. According to the draft Bill for setting up a quota of expatriates, Indians should not exceed 15 per cent of the population, Gulf News had reported citing local media.

If passed, this Bill could result in eight lakh Indians being forced out of Kuwait. The Indian community is the largest expat community in Kuwait, with 1.45 million Indians living in the country.

The Bill also calls for reducing the population of Egyptians, the second-largest expat community in Kuwait down to 10 per cent, Times of India reported.

It could have a significant impact as Kuwait is also a top source of remittances for India, the report said.

With the increasing dependence on foreign workers, oil prices slump and the Covid-19 pandemic, the anti-expat sentiment has been on the rise in the country, as per reports.

Kuwait’s Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah last month proposed that the country should bring down its expat population to 30 per cent of the overall population from 70 per cent, Gulf News reported.

Last week, Kuwaiti lawmaker Mohammed Al-Heweila had proposed replacing expat employees in the Foreign Ministry and affiliated diplomatic missions with Kuwaiti nationals, the report said.

The expat quota Bill meanwhile, will be transferred to the respective committee for creating a comprehensive plan on how to proceed, TOI reported.

No official statement has been provided by India. However, the Indian embassy is closely monitoring the developments related to the proposed legislation, according to a News19 report.

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Published on July 06, 2020
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