Kuwait's ordinance: Verdict which may affect 8 lac, Indian expats
-BY AISHNA MISHRA
Kuwait’s Expat Bill - The fate of Indian Expats
Around 7-8 Lakh Indians would be forced to come back home if Kuwait’s National Assembly approves of the Expat Bill. The Bill proposes that the Indian Population should not exceed 15% of the population. After it passes, the Kuwait government will form a comprehensive plan for its execution. To address the demographic imbalance, the report suggests reducing the number of expatriates from 70% to 30%. Not just Indian but Egypt has also been affected by the Bill.
This comes in response to the surge in anti-expat rhetoric protests by the Kuwaitis. Many Lawyers have called upon reducing the number of foreigners in their country. However, the MEA believes that Indians, spread across all segments of the Kuwaiti society, are considered to be disciplined and law-abiding.
The government will be implementing a form of a quota system for the foreigner to address the imbalance. The total population of Kuwait is 4.8 million, in which Indian constitutes the largest number of ex-pats (1.4 Million). According to the Indian embassy in Kuwait, approximately 28,000 Indian ex-pats have been employed by the government in skilled and semi-skilled professions like engineering, nursing and scientific research.
Kuwait - A crucial source of Remittances into India
The bill is set to deepen the woes. According to the Times Now, “By some estimates, nearly $4.8 billion was received from migrant workers in the nation, into India, in 2018. Given the fallout of the pandemic, coupled with the slump in oil prices, Kuwait, along with other Gulf nations, may no longer be able to heavily subsidize its citizens as they have done in the past, which would then, naturally, translate to putting them to work. This, unfortunately for India's migrant workers, is likely to come at the cost of expat jobs.”
The Pandemic and the Unemployment Crisis
India has surpassed Russia as the number of COVID19 cases are surging day by day. The country’s economic development is already hampered. The unemployment rate has hit a new high in 2020. How will India tackle the unemployment crisis and create jobs for its citizen?
Moreover, It is difficult to predict how the Modi government will handle the expat bill. Could diplomatic talks be a way forward?