Kuwait expat bill could force 800,000 Indians to leave Gulf state

Mask-clad residents walk in a neighbourhood of Kuwait City on May 12, 2020, as authorities allowed people to exercise for two hours under a nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (File/AFP)
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The National Assembly’s legal and legislative committee has determined that the draft expat quota bill is constitutional, Kuwait Times reported.

The bill is to be transferred to the respective committee so that a comprehensive plan is created.

According to the bill, Indian’s should not exceed 15 percent of the population. This could result in 800,000 Indians leaving Kuwait, as the Indian community constitutes the largest expat community in Kuwait, totalling 1.45 million.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a spike in anti-expat rhetoric as lawmakers and governmental officials call for reducing the number of foreigners in Kuwait. Last month, Kuwait’s prime minister, Sheikh Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah, proposed decreasing the number of expats from 70 per cent to 30 per cent of the population.

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A week later, the Kuwait Petroleum company announced that it will no longer be hiring foreign workers.

In addition, MP Osama Al Chahin called on the parliament to replace all expats working in the National Assembly with Kuwaitis.

The current population of Kuwait is 4.3 million, with Kuwaitis making up 1.3 million of the population, and expats accounting for 3 million.

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