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Finance budgets for expat layoffs – Figures sought on Kuwaitization, indemnities

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 14: An official document which has been released by the government says Kuwaitization begins with the Ministry of Finance, reports Al-Anba daily.

The document addressed the ministries and government agencies to coordinate with the Civil Service Commission to prepare a list of the number of expatriate staff who will be laid off during the next fiscal year from April 2018 until the end of March 2019.

According to the document, the decision obliges government agencies to reduce the number of expatriates annually to reach the percentages of each specific job group by 2022, which began last September

The request of the Finance Ministry comes in the framework of setting the budget estimates of expenditures for government agencies in light of the Ministry’s attempt to set a ceiling for expenditures for each agency so that no additional financial appropriations take place during the fiscal year but only in exceptional cases.

The document pointed out that the government agencies will be obliged to coordinate with the Civil Service Commission to provide the Ministry of Finance with the final number of expatriates required to be laid off to allocate their indemnities in the budget of each governmental institution.

It seems the financial implications of the policies of Kuwaitization of the government jobs has already begun and will not wait until next April.

Official sources said there is a dispute between several institutions and government agencies and the Ministry of Finance because they require additional funds as a result of the direction of the application of directives for Kuwaitization of jobs, which conflicts with the request of the Finance Ministry with regard to commitment to the ceiling of the expenditure. The Finance Ministry confirmed at the beginning of the fiscal year last April, that the ministry will not consider any exceptions related to additional funds unless extremely necessary.

This comes in conjunction with the realization of the state budget deficit which reached 2.4 billion dinars in the first seven months of the fiscal year until the end of last November, according to the monthly report of the Ministry of Finance and expectations that the deficit by the end of the fiscal year next March to 4 billion dinars, according to the expectations of Al-Shall Center.

The sources said that one of the government agencies (not named) requested a ‘few million’ to pay the end of service benefits of expatriates who worked for several years, which led to the infl ation of those indemnities, in addition to the difference between the salaries of newly-appointed Kuwaitis and salaries of expatriates whose services will be terminated.

The government’s plan, which was launched last September, includes the commitment of government agencies to reduce the number of expatriate employees by 2022 by which time the number of Kuwaiti employees should be in par with the government requirement.

According to the government’s plan which was disclosed in September 2017, the percentage of replacement will reach 100 percent within five years in five functional groups as follows.

The expected percentage of Kuwaitis in the following disciplines after five years, Engineering 97 percent; Teaching, Education and Training 70 percent; Social, educational and sports services 97 percent; Systems and Information technology 100 percent; Science 95 percent; Animal and agricultural wealth and water living beings 75 percent; Marine 100 percent; Literature, Arts, Media, Information and Public Relations 100 percent. This is in addition to financial, economic and commercial 95 percent; Law, politics and Islamic Affairs 88 percent; Administrative Development, Follow-up and Statistics 100 percent; Criminal Evidences Department (Forensic) prevention and rescue 98 percent; Administrative Support 100 percent; Crafts 80 percent and Services 85 percent.

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