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The New Arab Staff

Fears that Kuwait bill could lead to exodus of Indian expatriates

Kuwait is looking to reduce its expat population [Getty]

Date of publication: 6 July, 2020

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Hundreds of thousands of Indian expatriates could lose their jobs.
A new bill approved by a Kuwait parliament committee could see hundreds of thousands of Indian residents forced to leave the country, according to local media, in the latest law targeting expatriates in the Gulf state.

According to the bill, passed by Kuwait's National Assembly on Monday, Indians should not make up more than 15 percent of the country's population.

This means that 800,000 of the 1.45 million Indians resident in Kuwait could be forced to leave the country once the law is implemented later this year.

Indians are Kuwait's largest expatriate community, sending home some $4.8 billion in remittances in 2018.
Last month, Kuwait Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah pledged to decrease the percentage of expatriates from 70 percent of the population to 30 percent.

Low oil prices and the coronavirus lockdown has hit Kuwait's economy hard and there has been growing pressure on the government to reduce the number of expatriates in the country and provide more jobs for Kuwaitis.

Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem on Sunday alleged that 1.3 million expatriates "are either illiterate or can merely read and write" and Kuwait should instead focus on recruiting skilled foreign workers, according to Kuwait Times.
There has been growing anti-expat rhetoric in Kuwait's parliament and media with calls for the government to reduce the number of foreign workers in the country.

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