Ahmad Al-Fadhl and Khalil Al-Saleh

KUWAIT: Two lawmakers yesterday slammed the Durra Company for the recruitment of maids for serving expatriates and demanded to either stop serving expatriates or at least give priority to Kuwaitis. MPs Khalil Al-Saleh and Ahmad Al-Fadhl claimed that recruiting maids for expatriates has made it tough for Kuwaitis to benefit from the services of the company, which was established to break the monopoly and high cost of recruiting domestic helpers from abroad.

Saleh demanded that the company should provide its services to Kuwaitis only at this stage and expressed outrage that it opened its doors to serve expatriates, “thus exhausting citizens to wait in long queues”. “Amid a crisis over domestic helpers and after a long wait for the start of the company’s services, it is unacceptable that citizens face another dilemma caused by expatriates,” Saleh said in a statement.

He said the company was essentially established to end the sufferings of the citizens from the expensive cost of hiring maids and not to renew these sufferings through the long queues. Saleh called on authorities to resolve this problem by ordering the company to serve citizens only, adding that the government must issue a decision urgently. Saleh, who heads a parliamentary committee to speed up replacement of expatriate employees in government jobs, also urged officials at the company to provide priority to Kuwaiti citizens.

Fadhl also echoed similar sentiments, saying that the company has made available a small number of maids, but those were taken by expatriates because they were offered the service. He said that because the number of expatriates is almost four times higher than citizens, Kuwaitis were frustrated and depressed as they could not get their turn.

Fadhl said following hard work by lawmakers in the National Assembly to establish the company and after a long wait, the company began operations and succeeded in reducing the recruitment cost to under KD 500, but it was expatriates who benefited from this. The Durra Company was established after lawmakers passed a law in the Assembly when the cost of the recruitment of maids from abroad skyrocketed to over KD 1,000 by private recruitment offices.

By B Izzak