KUWAIT: As part of the interior ministry’s plans to replace expatriate employees with Kuwaitis, it issued internal instructions to make lists of all expat employees pending terminating their contracts, said informed sources. The sources explained that many expat administrative employees at the traffic, citizenship and passport departments will be laid off in view of the availability of citizens qualified to replace them, in addition to the need to transfer extra Kuwaiti employees from other interior ministry departments to the abovementioned ones.
“The interior ministry believes that the traffic, citizenship and passport departments are closely linked to Kuwait’s security, and thus their staff members should all be citizens,” the sources explained, reminding of the previous involvement of expat employees in driving license forgeries. The sources added that all expat administrative employees in other interior ministry departments, with the exception of legal advisors, will be laid off within a maximum of two years.
Meanwhile, Kuwaiti daily Al-Qabas quoted well-informed sources as saying that in a bid to resolve the unemployment problem, the Cabinet will discuss a comprehensive government study on nationalizing thousands of jobs in the private sector and replacing expats working as administrative, legal and secretarial staff with Kuwaitis.
The sources added that such a step will increase the amounts paid by the state in national labor support allowances to around KD 1 billion after laying off 130,000 to 150,000 expats – 8 to 10 percent of the total of 1.6 million expat employees in the private sector. In addition, the sources explained said Minister of State for Economic Affairs Mariam Al-Aqeel is coordinating with various bodies to formulate a new strategy to develop and increase Kuwaiti manpower in the private sector.
By A Saleh