The Kuwaiti government has said that it could axe the number of expats living in the country within months through a new residency law.
The Kuwait National Assembly’s manpower development committee is expected to review a draft law to introduce certain residency quotas for foreign communities in Kuwait, proposing the largest community – Indians – should not exceed 15% of Kuwaiti citizens. The Bill also proposes that Egyptians, Bangladeshis and Filipinos among others must not each exceed 10% of Kuwaitis. This would require deporting around 2.5m expats.
The panel has decided to proceed with legislation over the issue and will send a report to the Assembly on ways to reduce the number of expats in Kuwait. The committee is assigned to study various draft laws submitted by MPs proposing solutions to cut the number of expats, who currently number 3.35m and form 70% of the country's population, Kuwait Times reports.
The head of the manpower development committee, MP Khalil Al Saleh, believes that Kuwait can reduce the number of expats by up to 1m within three months, mainly by replacing expats with locals in government jobs and deporting some 500,000 low-paid workers.
The Kuwait parliament aims to have the legislation ready by October.
Last month, Kuwait’s prime minister, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al Sabah, suggested reducing the proportion of expats in the country from 70% to 30%. Kuwait has a population of 4.8m.