Kuwaiti lawmaker proposed replacing expatriates in jobs at parliament amid a stepped-up campaign in country to curb the numbers of foreigners.
Foreigners account for nearly 3.4 million of Kuwait’s 4.8 million population.
MP Osama Al Chahin said he has tabled his proposal to the National Assembly or the parliament to “Kuwaitise” all permanent and temporary advisory jobs in the legislature.
“My proposal is based on the vital importance of giving all public jobs to Kuwaitis,” he said, according to Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai. “Advisory jobs are very important in phrasing the reports, recommendations and results,” he added. The parliamentarian called for replacing all foreigners working in various committees and offices of the assembly within a timeframe to be set and made public by the legislature. The number of foreign employees at the Kuwaiti parliament is not clear.
In recent weeks, several Kuwaiti public figures have demanded curtailing numbers of expatriates in the country, accusing them of straining the country’s health facilities and increasing the COVID-19 threat.
Earlier this month, Kuwait said it would no longer employ expatriates in its oil sector.
Last month, a number of Kuwaiti lawmakers presented a draft bill suggesting a quota system for employing foreigners as one way to redress the demographic imbalance in the country.
According to the proposed quota system, the numbers of Indian workers should not exceed 15 per cent of the overall Kuwaiti population while those of Egyptian expatriates should stand at a maximum 10 per cent. Indians and Egyptians are among the largest foreign communities in Kuwait.
The authors of the draft said that the demographic imbalance in Kuwait has spawned problems in recent years, becoming more conspicuous and serious since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
In April, the Kuwaiti government announced a pardon plan for illegal migrants in the country to encourage them to leave the country. The pardon offers the illegal expatriates exemption from punishment and free home return flights. Thousands of expats have reportedly applied to be covered by the amnesty and ensuing repatriation.