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Expats slam proposal to lift subsidies on fuel, electricity Move is like a ‘time bomb’

KUWAIT CITY, April 25: Expatriates residing in the country criticized the proposal to remove fuel subsidies for them and cut electricity subsidies such that they pay market price for most of their power consumption, stressing that such a step will have negative implications in their lives, reports Annahar daily. They explained that they will have to pay 22 times the current rate for power consumption after the subsidy on electricity is lifted.

For example, an expatriate who pays KD 25 per year for electricity consumption will end up paying KD 550 if the electricity subsidization is removed. In many cases, expatriates currently do not pay the electricity bill, as their electricity and water charges are included in their monthly rent.

However, the removal of electricity subsidy could lead to changes in their rental contracts and installation of an electricity meter in each apartment. Regarding the removal of petrol subsidies, they explained that they will end up paying 3 times the current rate of petrol. For instance, an expatriate who pays an average of KD 200 per year on petrol will have to pay about KD 500-KD600 per year without the petrol subsidization.

A number of expatriates lamented that such a proposal reflects oppression against the entire expatriate community in Kuwait, indicating that it is indirectly aimed to reduce the number of expatriates in the country. They stressed that some recent statements haunt them like nightmares, making the environment of Kuwait repellent for the expatriates, adding that they are seriously considering residing in another country that provides them with peace of mind. Since they have been providing services for the development of the country, they stressed that their rights should be protected without the need for constant blackmail.

They wondered whether the low salaries earned by the expatriates for their services will be increased to adapt to the expected hike in prices that targets only expatriates. They added that the proposal reflects the phenomenon of racism that is prevalent in this country of law particularly since the expatriates are unable to manage their daily lives due to the hike in commodity prices and rents that are affecting them negatively. They stressed the need for social justice, indicating that the step to lift fuel subsidy and reduce electricity subsidy is like a ‘time bomb’ that will negatively affect all aspects of the entire country.

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