In the wake of rising Coronavirus cases, India’s migrant workers in Kuwait are now being dealt with a disastrous blow. Kuwait moved the new expat quota bill as the oil prices in the country collapsed. The Gulf nation seeks to secure its citizens’ jobs. The aim is to set off the economic deterioration caused by the global pandemic. This bill will cause the number of foreign workers in the country to descend in the future years.
The National Assembly’s Legislative Committee has given its nod over the bill’s constitutionality. The bill is yet to be morphed into a law in Kuwait. However, it does put at risk the economic future of around 8 lakh Indian migrants. Some of them are already suffering from Coronavirus.
Around 4.8 million people constitute the population of Kuwait. The expatriate community makes up for 70% of it. Indians form the largest expat group in the nation at a 1.4 million. The Indian embassy in Kuwait evaluated that the government has employed nearly 28,000 Indians. Skilled and semi-skilled professions like scientific research, engineering and nursing are included in the same.
The new draft bill is devised to redress the problem of “demographic imbalance”, the Kuwaiti legislators asseverated. Not only the Indians but the Egyptian population in the country too will fall prey to this uncertainty.
The formal plan to effectuate the bill is still underway. But the reports suggest that the country intends to bring about a decline in it expat population over the years. The Kuwaiti Government had already declared its intention to come up with a ‘pardon plan’ in the month of April. This will allow the illegal migrants to leave the country without facing any penalty.
The disbursement that India receives because of Indians in Kuwait could also be heavily impacted. As per estimates, India received approx. $ 4.8 billion in the year 2018.
The take of the Ministry of External Affairs
On 9th June, the MEA, India said that it is closely monitoring the developments in Kuwait. Anurag Srivastava, said that the matter had been discussed over a recent telephone conversation. “We share excellent bilateral ties which are deeply rooted in people to people linkages”, MEA spokesperson said.
The Indian community is regarded highly in all of the Gulf region. He said their contributions do not go unnoticed. Kuwait’s resolution will acknowledge Indian Government’s expectations.
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