Kuwait’s New Expat Bill Worries Indians

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Kuwait’s New Expat Bill Worries Indians
Maryam / CC BY

Kuwait’s new Expat Bill has been passed by the legal and legislative authorities of the national assembly of Kuwait. To implement it as a law, the bill needs to be approved by Kuwait’s government. 

As per the local media, Kuwait’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Sabah, said that a considerable number of international workers had brought a “big imbalance” and said “we have a future challenge to address this imbalance”. Source: BBC. 

Currently, a Chief Executive at Larsen and Turbo, Pratik Desai has been living in Kuwait for more than 25 years now. With this new expat bill, Pratik and more than 80,000 Indian workers have to leave their jobs and Kuwait soon. 

Out of all, Indians are the largest expats living in Kuwait. Among the country’s population of four million, 70% are Indians. According to the terms mentioned in the expat bill, the percentage is expected to be taken down to 30%.

Apart from Indians, the other expats belong to Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Egypt. 

On this, India’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Anurag Srivastava, said- “The Indian community is well-regarded in Kuwait and elsewhere in the Gulf region, and their contributions are well recognised. We have shared our expectations, and Kuwait’s decision will take that into account,” Source: BBC. 

Pratik Desai said that it’s not just about the job you lose but about relocating to India. Further, he added, “When you live in one place for so long, you develop an emotional attachment. It will affect me emotionally more than financially.” Source: BBC. 

Professor at the Center for West Asian Studies at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, Dr A.K. Pasha said- “Right from 1972 when Indians have been going to Kuwait, we have heard this so many times – [that] whenever there is a fall in oil prices, they try to trim the expatriate numbers. Indians, being in large numbers, become the headline.” Source: BBC. 

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Source: BBC