KUWAIT CITY, Jan 19: A number of MPs stressed the need for the parliamentary session, which is to be held on Feb 2 for discussing the demographic problem, to be effective and fruitful, reports Al-Rai daily. MP Safa Al-Hashem affirmed that the Feb 2 parliamentary session is very important, as discussions will be held on the growing rate of expatriates in Kuwait as well as the need for the government to take necessary actions to deal with this issue.
She stressed the need to present a draft law for increasing the service charges for expatriates, as this will help in reducing the number of expatriates in Kuwait to 30 percent within three years. MP Al-Hashem lamented about the security, social and economical dangers that will threaten the country if this negative trend of increasing rate of expatriates is not curbed soon. In this regard, MP Dr Waleed Al- Tabtabaie insisted on the importance of dealing with the problem of population imbalance urgently, calling for the approval of a ten-year plan that will ensure the population of Kuwait consists of 50 percent citizens and 50 percent expatriates. He said the current imbalance in population structure negatively affects the state security of Kuwait.
However, Al-Tabtabaie clarified that he is not calling for the deportation of expatriates who have been contributing to the development of the country but the deportation of marginal laborers who represent a burden for the country especially when it comes to the public services.
Meanwhile, MP Saleh Ashour indicated that all Gulf countries are suffering from population imbalance problem, as these countries are not able to depend on their citizens to work in the technical and service sectors. He stressed that expatriates play a major role in developing a country, especially Arab employees and laborers.
However, MP Ashour said it is unacceptable for a Kuwaiti citizen to feel homesick in his own country, as expatriates in Kuwait constitute 70 percent of Kuwait population while in some Gulf countries, it is almost 90 percent. He insisted that the accepted ratio is 50 percent of citizens and 50 percent expatriates.
MP Ashour explained that the demographic problem is due to lack of a proper governmental vision and necessary contributions, as the government has done nothing in this regard except issue some statements and press releases. It shows weakness when dealing with influential people and owners of some companies who make enormous sums of money through visa trading.
He enquired if Minister of Social Affairs and Labor can confront this issue, stressing the need to present laws through cooperation between Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor and Ministry of Interior to set conditions for bringing expatriates into the country.
Also, MP Adnan Abdulsamad revealed that the government has all relevant data and detailed statistics about population of Kuwait, their nationality and profession. He insisted that it is not fair to place the entire responsibility on expatriates, as the government and many citizens are also responsible for the demographic problem. MP Abdulsamad explained that an expatriate comes to Kuwait based on a request presented by a Kuwaiti citizen or a Kuwaiti company.
Therefore, when he comes to Kuwait, he has to be treated in a humanitarian manner in all cases. In addition, Head of parliament’s Public Funds Protection Committee MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri stressed that solving the demographic problem must be done in a fair manner without affecting the expatriates who are residing legally in Kuwait and doing their jobs in a proper way. He insisted that the focus should be on marginal labors and violators of the residency law.