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Tuesday , January 26 2021

Seven bills to tackle imbalance in demographics

Ministry plans cut of 360,000 expats

KUWAIT CITY, Aug 10: Chairman of the parliamentary Human Resources Committee MP Khalil Al-Saleh disclosed that the committee recently discussed the demographic imbalance, domestic labor and visa trading issues with Minister of Social Affairs and State Minister for Economic Affairs Mariam Al- Aqeel and her accompanying team. According to Al-Saleh, the minister and her team presented solutions to the abovementioned issues during the meeting.

A large number of people gather at a make-shift market in Mahboula area, where no social distancing is maintained in view of the corona crisis

He said the plan adopted by the minister requires special legislation since it is aimed at mitigating the negative security effects of the growing number of expatriates compared to the citizens. He revealed the remedy to the demographic imbalance focuses on the importance of finding solutions to the problem, particularly the exceptionally big number of expatriates of certain nationalities.

He added the committee asked the minister to present a timetable for the implementation of the plan, specify the needed legislation, and submit related reports to the National Assembly for approval. He affirmed the committee looked into a number of relevant bills submitted by several MPs, indicating these bills are being discussed and the reports on these bills will be released by the end of this week.

Also, Committee Rapporteur MP Osama Al-Shaheen said the Ministry of Social Affairs presented short and long term solutions; revealing the ministry laid down a plan to terminate the services of 360,000 expatriate workers.

He said the committee is currently working on seven bills concerning the demographic issue and none of these bills is submitted by the government. Stressing the importance of finding solutions to this issue, Al-Shaheen asserted the number of citizens increased by 55 percent within 15 years – from 2005 to 2020; while the expatriates increased by 100 percent in the same period. In another development, Health and Social Affairs Committee Chairman MP Sa’adoun Hammad attributed the failure of the bill on addressing the consequences of coronavirus to misunderstanding. He explained most of the MPs did not read the report carefully, so they wrongly concluded that the bill is not in the interest of national labor.

He added some MPs thought the reduction of salaries is applicable to Kuwaiti employees in the public and private sectors, indicating these MPs did not read the second article of the bill which states the government will compensate for the deducted salary. Hammad pointed out the bill could have been an opportunity to eliminate extra expatriate workers in the private sector

By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff

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