Reducing expats numbers by 10 percent within 10 years

KUWAIT: A number of lawmakers yesterday proposed forming a special national committee to regulate and administer Kuwait’s demography, said informed sources. In their proposal, MPs Mohammad Al-Dallal, Essa Al-Kandari, Osama Al-Shaheen and Khalil Al-Saleh called for setting up the ‘National Committee to Regulate and Administer Kuwait’s Demography’ that would work on preventing Kuwait from having an ‘excessive number of expatriates’ which according to them would ‘threaten the state’s identity.’ The proposed committee would set special policies and plans to adjust the current demographic structure in view of the developmental plan, said the sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Strategic plans
According to the proposal, the committee would be responsible for studying Kuwait’s demography and set strategic plans in accordance to developmental requirements and security, social and economic factors with an ultimate goal of reducing the total number of expats to 60 percent of the population within 10 years effective on passing the bill and publishing the law in the official gazette. Expats currently make up around 70 percent of the population. The committee would also set a new maximum limit for the expatriate population every five years, and set ‘reasonable’ and ‘suitable’ ratio per nationality, taking into consideration that none of the residing communities should exceed 40 percent of the population, the sources explained.
Further, the sources noted that according to the proposal, the committee would be headed the Minister of State for Economic Affairs, a representative of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development as vice chairman, in addition to members representing the Central Statistical Bureau, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Higher Education, the Public Authority for Manpower, Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Civil Service Commission, Public Authority of Civil Information, the private sector (to be nominated by Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry) and two academics with at least 10 years of experience.
Parliamentary calls for cutting the number of expatriates living in Kuwait are not new, and have been increasing lately as the National Assembly readies to go on its long summer break in less than three weeks. Earlier this week, MP Safa Al-Hashem 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.

10 expats laid off
In other news, Minister of State for Economic Affairs Mariam Al-Aqeel announced laying off 10 expats working for the ministry in the period of 2016-2019 as part of the policy of ‘Kuwaitization’ of public sector jobs, noting that six were laid off in 2016, two in 2017, one in 2018 and one who would be laid off by the beginning of July. Further, Aqeel stressed that the ministry is fully committed to implementing the ‘Kuwaitization’ policy as instructed by the CSC’s resolutions numbers 2/1997, 2/2002 and 12/2007, and explained that recent hiring of non-Kuwaiti legal staff members at the manpower authority happened because the authority had been recently established, whereas there is lack of certain specialties in the Kuwaiti staff members nominated to work in it.

Camping season
Separately, Kuwait Municipality Director Ahmad Al-Manfouhi said that, in collaboration with the Environment Public Authority, strict measures would be taken against violators during this year’s camping season. Manfouhi added that a special committee had been formed to follow up the mechanism to be followed in imposing fines up to KD 5,000 against violators. Further, Manfouhi stressed that tents pitched outside houses in residential areas are illegal and unlicensed, adding that they are only tolerated during the camping season provided they cause no disturbance to neighbors nor block the traffic flows.

By A Saleh