KUWAIT CITY, June 2: Officials from the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) recently met with the Cabinet’s Finance Committee in the presence of representatives of the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM), and demanded the cancellation of the decision to prevent the renewal of work permits of expatriates aged 60 years and above, and holders of high school certification and below, reports Al-Rai daily. According to informed sources, the Finance Committee listened to an explanation about the considerations pitched in by KCCI officials to reject the decision. Three main proposals were submitted for mitigating the risks of the implementation of this decision.
The first proposal is for the concerned person to pay a fee ranging between KD 1,000 and KD 2,000 to the state upon renewal for the first time, taking into account the human and social conditions of the residents of this segment. The second proposal is related to imposing an annual fee on the beneficiaries of this procedure. The third proposal submitted by KCCI stipulates that every resident on whom the decision applies must take health insurance. In this case, fears that the state will bear the costs of treatment of diseases that may arise at this age can be dispelled, taking into account that the children of this segment, like the majority of residents, do not study in government schools or universities. The sources stressed that the Minister of Commerce and Industry Dr Abdullah Al-Salman, who supervises PAM, expressed his interest in the proposals submitted in agreement with the Government’s Finance Committee.
They said, “Despite the government’s conviction that the decision must be amended, no explicit directives have been issued yet”. Te sources added, “What strengthens the trend to amend the decision is the vacuum that would occur when dispensing people with long experiences in important private and public sectors due to the lack of a certification”. Meanwhile, Attorney Areej Hamadeh said she is against the decision “not to renew the work permits of those holding a secondary school certificate and have reached the age of 60 years and above, reports Al-Anba daily.
In a special statement to Al-Anba, Hamada said she believes preventing the renewal of a work permit for those holding a high school diploma or under for those who are 60 years and above is a wrong and improper decision. “If we want to turn Kuwait into a financial center, it is ill advisable to prevent the renewal of a work permit just because of the person’s age. I consider this a kind of racism, given there are many experienced expatriates that Kuwait needs in terms of practical experience, craftsmanship and among them are business entrepreneurs who bring financial returns to the country. She stated that there are groups of young people who in their twenties and are considered menial workers, especially the Asians (many of them illegal) and said if at a decision to deport people is taken, it should be this category of people regardless of age. Hamada pointed out that there are many residents who do not know their country because they have lived with their families and children in Kuwait for many years and therefore the decision is not logical because they have served Kuwait all these years. She pointed out the expatriates do not live in Kuwait what she called “for free”. They pay rent, fees and make purchases with their money.