Kuwait’s National Assembly approves expat quota bill – report

If approved, the law would require some 800,000 Indians to leave the country

A draft law calling for an expatriate quota system in Kuwait has been approved by the National Assembly’s legal and legislative committee, local daily Kuwait Times reported.

The draft law, submitted by five MPs, “is in line with the Kuwaiti constitution and laws”, the committee found.

The bill will now be referred to the concerned committee that will study legislation related to implementing the quota system, the report added.

According to the bill, Indians – who form the largest foreign community in Kuwait – must not exceed 15 per cent of the national population – which currently stands at 1.45 million.

If approved, the law would require some 800,000 Indians to leave the country, the report added.

Last month, Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah said that the Gulf state would like expat numbers to reduce to 30 per cent of the country’s population – down from 70 per cent at present.

That would require cutting down the number of foreign workers by around 2.5 million.

Read: Kuwait doesn’t want to be an expat-majority nation anymore

MPs have already called to replace all expat jobs in the government within one year.

Kuwait said in June that it will ban the employment of expatriates in state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and its subsidiaries for the year 2020-21.

In May, it was announced that Kuwait’s Municipality will soon dismiss all expat employees and replace them with Kuwaitis.

The decision also calls for freezing employment applications from expats, cancelling appointments under process and not renewing the contracts of existing employees.

Last year, MP Safa Al Hashem also urged Kuwait to expel close to two million expatriates from the country over the next five years to rectify its ‘demographic imbalance’.

She said that it was essential to have Kuwaitis number more than 50 per cent of the country’s population.