Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Minister defends ‘right to balance population’ – ‘Visas to work permit’ transfers suspended

KUWAIT: Kuwait has suspended transactions for transferring commercial visas into work permits in the private sector except under strict conditions as the first step in the Gulf state’s efforts to organize the labor market and address the demographic imbalance, a senior government official said in a recent statement. Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Thekra Al-Rashidi further defended Kuwait’s “right as a state to maintain the demographic structure and address any flaws in this regard,” and indicated that “several other steps [in that regard] will be taken in the next few days.”

Regarding deportations carried out in recent weeks, Minister Al-Rashidi said that her ministry does not have the authority to issue deportation orders. “Deporting expatriate labor forces who are in violation of residency regulations is the job of other state departments, and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor seeks only to regulate the labor market,” she said. Last March, Al-Rashidi announced a plan to deport 100,000 foreigners every year as part of a strategy to cut the Gulf state’s expatriate community by one million in ten years.

Criticism sparked by the lack of details about the proposed plan prompted the minister to later clarify that the plan targets illegal residents who comprise up to 93,000 people as of official statistics released last year. Kuwait is home to 2.6 million expatriates, who account for 68 percent of the country’s 3.8 million population. Minister Al-Rashidi made her latest observations at the opening of the new main ‘cooperative society’ supermarket in Al-Andalus Sunday night. She also defended a new law introduced for the co-operative societies “that introduces more controls to improve the co-operative work and provide better protection for shareholders’ money.” The new law, which the parliament passed in its first hearing, includes tougher penalties against violators as well as new standards for running for co-ops boards. Meanwhile, minister Al-Rashidi commented on recent developments regarding a decision to suspend social security allowances paid to Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaitis unless they provided medical certificate proving that the husband was unable to work.

On that issue, the minister clarified that this stipulation was included in the law in its original form since its promulgation in 2011, adding that all efforts to amend it in the parliament and remove this condition have failed. She added that she will continue efforts to “amend the law in order to help the Kuwaiti women, including women married to non-Kuwaitis.”—Agencies

Pin It
This article was published on 05/06/2013