Abdulsamad slams KOC for failing to meet production targets

KUWAIT: MP Safa Al-Hashem yesterday called for expelling around two million expatriates from Kuwait over the next five years in order to make Kuwaitis a majority in their home country. “Reforming the imbalance in the demographic structure is an urgent necessity and a national requirement, because it is illogical that citizens are a minority in their home country,” Hashem said in a statement. The lawmaker, who has been vehemently campaigning against expatriates for the past few years, called for reducing the number of expatriates so as to make Kuwaitis more than 50 percent of the population.

Currently, Kuwaitis constitute less than 30 percent of the 4.7 million population – they number 1.4 million against 3.3 million expatriates. To achieve Hashem’s call, expatriates must be reduced to under 1.4 million, which means expelling some two million foreigners. “We are not against any honest expat whose skills are needed by the country, but we are against crowding, unproductive expatriates who have not left any breathing space for Kuwaitis,” said the lawmaker. During the Eid holidays, Hashem lashed out at expatriates for “littering” the beaches in the country and called in statements to local newspapers for imposing charges on them, or barring them from the sea.

Hashem, who is a member of the National Assembly’s financial and economic affairs committee, said there is a draft law ready in the Assembly proposing to impose a five-percent tax on all remittances by expatriates, which reached some KD 20 billion in the past five years. She said the bill must be approved quickly to contain those transfers, which have negatively impacted the national economy. The lawmaker also wondered why Egyptians are launching a campaign against Syrians living in Egypt, accusing them of taking over their businesses, while they protest strongly when similar calls are made in Kuwait.

Meanwhile, head of the budgets committee MP Adnan Abdulsamad said yesterday that Kuwait Oil Company has continued to commit violations, and as a result, has failed in meeting the scheduled increase in the production capacity of oil and gas. He said KOC will not be able to meet its targets, which were set at 3.5 million barrels per day in 2015 and 4.0 million barrels per day in 2020, adding that the company’s actual production in the fiscal year 2017/2018 was only 3.1 million barrels, recalling that production from the neutral zone with Saudi Arabia has been suspended.

The Assembly is preparing for debating a grilling against Finance Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf over alleged mismanagement of foreign investments and violations in the country’s finances. The grilling was filed by MPs Bader Al-Mulla and Riyadh Al-Adasani, who vowed to reveal plenty of information about the country’s budget and investments.

By B Izzak