“Let us leave the voting by Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) on the decision to increase the fee for renewal of residence permits for the expatriates who do not hold graduation certificates and are above 60 years old. Let us talk rationally and logically about this topic. The decision says this denomination of expatriates can renew their residence permits by paying KD 2000 per annum,” columnist Ali Al-Fairouz wrote for Al-Rai daily.
“But the question is: Is this fees reasonable and will it achieve the targeted objectives or are we looking at some kind of exaggeration? However, we like to say, after we have been informed that the number of expatriates who will be covered by this decision may reach up to 56,000; this is not a small number and cannot be underestimated and this means a lot of people will be harmed by this decision.
“Consequently, the proposal that has been submitted by H.E. the Minister of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of PAM Abdullah Al-Salman, suggesting the renewal of work permit after paying KD1000 in addition to obliging this category of employees to buy special insurance is worth looking at instead of imposing restrictions on expatriates who are over 60 years in an illogical manner.
“As such, we support the minister and his undersecretary Dr. Saleh Al-Okaili and the undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior Lieutenant General Issam Al-Nahham, because these officials, have appreciated the minister’s proposal imposing KD1000 in the form of fee on the expatriate employee who is over 60, but not a scenario allowing the renewal of the expatriate employee’s work permit for 2000 dinars as a fixed fee to enable the pertinent expatriate to stay in his/her job in the country legally.
“However, the fate of the expatriates who are over 60 years old cannot be settled without conducting a detailed study taking into account all humanitarian aspects before the decision is officially issued. In other words, we presume that after many months of arguments, dialogues, and ramifications on the national economy and the labor market, we should not abide by a decision, that was approved by a minority PAM Board of Directors who voted in favor of the work permit renewal scenario in an incapacitating manner to get it implemented without paying attention to situations of the low paid workers.
“Given the above, we wonder about the fate of this denomination of workers who are experienced and highly skillful, which we have talked about in a previous article and to be merciful to them after spending thirty years and more in Kuwait. “On the other hand, we wonder, if the government has thought from where every expatriate will bring 2000 dinars if most of them earn low stipends and suffer from heavy livelihood burdens.
“What about the 62,000 expatriates who left the local labor market for good within the first six months of 2021; and what will happen to the local labor market and how the national economy will be reactivated over the coming years if the situation continues to be bad amid the health circumstances which the country is currently passing through?
“However, we in the State of Kuwait, which both the world and history, has testified as the ‘Kuwait of Humanity’, ‘Kuwait of Charity’ and Kuwait of Love and Peace, we have to get ourselves involved in an uprising by depending on Kuwait humanitarian titles in order to respond to the cry of the expatriates before they become victims of the decision in question and leave for their countries – the situation that will not satisfy us because this decision shall force the expatriates to leave our country in a tragic manner and will likely undermine the image of the State of Kuwait.
“In conclusion, we would like to point out that we support the idea of imposing fees on the renewal of both the residence and the work permit for all of the expatriates, but the increase in fees should be reasonable and satisfy all sides.”