New expat bill may force 8 lakh Indians to leave the Gulf country
As many as 7-8 lakh Indians could be forced out of Kuwait if a new bill on expats is enacted into law. 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 per cent of the 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 expat quota bill is constitutional, Gulf News reported citing local media report.
The outlet reported that 'this could result in 800,000 Indians leaving Kuwait, as the Indian community constitutes the largest expat community in Kuwait, totaling 1.45 million'.
Of the 4.3 million population of Kuwait, expats account for 3 million.
The bill calls for reducing the number of Egyptians, who form the second largest expatriate community, to 10% of Kuwait's total population.
Kuwait is also a top source of remittances for India. In 2018, India received close to $4.8 billion from Kuwait as remittances. With its own citizens turning into a minority, Kuwait has been working to reduce its dependence on foreign workers. The bill is seen as a manifestation of the fact that Kuwait no longer wants to remain an expat-majority nation. Coronavirus and the slump in oil prices have also been contributing factors.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Gulf News reported last week, there has been a spike in anti-expat rhetoric as lawmakers and governmental officials call for reducing the number of foreigners in Kuwait. In the middle of this, Kuwait's PM Sheikh Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah proposed reduction in the number of expats from 70% to 30% of the total population.
Official sources said the Indian embassy was closely following developments related to the proposed legislation. India has so far not made any statement on the issue.
India has often in the past played up the role of Indian community in Kuwait as an important factor in bilateral ties. As the MEA says, Indians are present in all segments of society in Kuwait and are largely considered disciplined, hardworking and law-abiding.
The Indian embassy in 2009 had set up an Indian Workers' Welfare Centre which provides a labour complaint redressal mechanism and accommodation for domestic workers in distress, a work contract attestation system, a toll free 24x7 telephone helpline, a free legal advice clinic and also a helpdesk to guide Indian nationals on problems faced by them.
add to the stream of unemployment, loss of foreign exchange & reasserting the risk & fact that finally the issue of locals v/s outsiders always looms in case of severe economic downfall. So welcome back our Brothers.
Lets send 300 million Desis to Americas and Africa and Eurasia. Good to decrease population in India. We can send to Mars and Moon too. Cheers, Desis
Sooner or later they will import labour again, may be from Philippines etc. But none will be as competent as Indians in economic respect. Anyway it is time that India thinks of population control and better employment opportunities in the country itself.
FILLIPINOS ARE EXTREMELY HARD WORKING SPEAK GOOD ENGLISH AND WORK FOR HALF THE PAY THEY ARE UNITED UNLIKE INDIANS WHO CANNOT TOLERATE EACH OTHER.
Instead of exporting labour, we should focus on improving the business climate within.
Let these Indians apply for citizenship of Kuwait. If back to India, they may not fit Indian work culture where earning money is very hard.
No Middle Eastern country gives citizenship to Indians.