New Delhi, 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, that could result in at least 7 lakh Indians leaving the Gulf country if enacted into law. The committee deemed the draft expat quota bill as constitutional, as reported by Times of India.
The Bill, which proposes that the number of Indians should not exceed 15 per cent of the country’s 4.8 million population, will be transferred to another committee for a comprehensive plan to be chalked out. Indians number about 1.4 million in Kuwait, forming the largest expatriate community in the country followed by Egyptians. The bill proposes similar quotas for people belonging to other nations, too.
With Kuwaitis turning into a minority in their own country, the bill is seen as a manifestation of the fact that Kuwait no longer wants to remain an expat-majority nation and is working on reducing its dependence on foreign workers.
The anti-expat rhetoric spiked since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic with lawmakers and government officials calling to reduce the number of foreigners in Kuwait.
Kuwait’s prime minister Sheikh Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah reportedly proposed decreasing the number of expats from 70% to 30% of the total population.
India has not yet made any statement on the issue, however, sources said that the Indian embassy was closely following developments related to the proposed legislation.