KUWAIT CITY, April 17: The higher committee tasked to address the lopsided population structure will most likely suggest a ceiling on the number of expatriates in the country, reports Al-Qabas daily.
Expatriates currently constitute two thirds of the country’s total population of 4.4 million. This has prompted several lawmakers and officials to call for plausible solutions. Lawmakers who voiced objection to the huge expatriate population have been pushing for drastic measures such as imposing different types of taxes on expatriates.
Meanwhile, those who are against such measures argued it is unfair to attack the most vulnerable segment of the society; stressing that action should be taken against those who encouraged these expatriates to enter the country without securing jobs for them.
Therefore, the higher committee presented six recommendations to address the issue as follows:
1. Reduce the number of visas allotted for citizens to hire domestic workers by up to 50 percent.
2. Around 25 percent reduction in the number of visas allotted for security companies with government contracts.
3. Set a time limit of about 10 to 20 years for expatriates in certain employment categories to stay in the country, after which they must leave without giving them right to return.
4. Reduce the number of visas that anyone living in the country can apply for annually. This should be done in coordination with the General Information Systems Department at the Ministry of Interior.
5. Enact a law to double fines for breaching residency rules.
6. The weight of population structure imbalance in the country lies on absconding domestic helpers who enter the labor market randomly.
This necessitates enactment of a law to punish anyone who helps or incites any expatriate worker to escape from their sponsors.
It has been reported that at least 600,000 people of different nationalities are currently working as domestic helpers in the country and they constitute around one fourth of 2.4 million domestic workers in GCC nations – Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE).