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Expats seen as targets for poor road planning
KUWAIT CITY, April 1: The Minister of the Interior has formed a committee to withdraw driving licenses from expatriates whose salary is less than 600 dinars and who do not hold a university degree, a step that has taken by surprise a wide segment that serves the country and confuses the actions taken in this regard, reports Al-Jarida daily. The Ministry will reportedly implement the decision retroactively to deal with traffic jams. However, private sources say traffic crisis is solved by improving roads and building bridges and tunnels, not by discriminatory decisions.
Traffic jams happen due to poor street planning. Returning to decisions targeting vulnerable groups in the country, and trying to address the problem of traffic jams with easy discriminatory decrees, is not the solution. Al-Jarida has learned from its sources that the First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior and Acting Minister of Defense, Sheikh Talal Al-Khalid, has formed a committee to study the status of expatriate driving licenses and review data, revealing that the ministry will place a “block” on the license of any expatriate who does not hold a university degree and whose salary is less than 600 dinars and withdraw this license. The sources said that this decision will put about 300,000 licenses under the guillotine of withdrawal, noting that when it enters into force, it will be applied immediately and retroactively, causing endless confusion and chaos for those whose licenses have been withdrawn, as well as their business owners who are also citizens.
The sources say dealing with traffic jams does not require difficult discriminatory solution that includes unfairness to a wide segment of expatriates serving the country and contributing to its business process, pointing out that when countries of the world think about dealing with the traffic problem, they do not take into account the possibility of reducing the number of vehicle drivers, and rightly so.
Unjustly, inasmuch as it searches for radical multi-faceted solutions, including improving roads, constructing bridges and tunnels, improving the work mechanism of public transport companies, and regulating the taxi sector, in addition to many other elements, that do not include this repeated approach that puts Kuwait in the crosshairs of international accusations regarding the treatment of immigrants. In late 2021, Al-Jarida launched a campaign against the decision of the former Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior, Lieutenant General Sheikh Faisal Al-Nawaf, when he instructed the traffic sector to “filter” driving licenses for expatriates and link them to academic qualifications and job titles, in preparation for withdrawing them from those who do not meet these conditions, which resulted in about canceling this unfair trend that is coming back today with force.