Kuwait expat quota Bill: New Delhi shares its expectations, highlights role of Indian community

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 09, 2020, 11.44 PM(IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

File photo. Photograph:( Others )

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Indians form the largest expatriate community in Kuwait with over the presence of one million Indian community members

As concerns grow over Kuwait expat bill that could force out lakhs of Indian workers from the country, India has discussed the matter with the country highlighting the "well regarded" role of Indians.

MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava in his weekly presser said," We are closely following the developments in Kuwait.  This matter has been discussed between FMs of India and Kuwait. We share excellent bilateral ties which are deeply rooted in people to people linkages."

Also read | New expat quota bill in Kuwait could force out nearly 800,000 Indians

"The Indian community in Kuwait is well-regarded in Kuwait and elsewhere in the Gulf region and their contributions are well recognised. We have shared our expectations that Kuwait’s decision will take into account."

The Kuwait expat draft law calls to introduce a quota for expats in the country so as to reduce the percentage of foreigners in the country, now more than locals in the country. The law stood the test of constitutionality a few days ago in the Kuwaiti Parliament.  

Indians form the largest expatriate community in Kuwait with over the presence of one million Indian community members. The law aims to put a quota of 15 per cent for Indian expats in the country with respect to the overall population.

The bill, once passed by the Parliament will not only force many Indians out from the west Asian country but will also impact remittances. The worst-impacted will be the southern state of Kerala, from where a lot of people live in Kuwait.

The development comes even as COVID has had a major impact on economies of west Asian countries due to the collapse in crude oil prices.  These countries have been trying to reorient the economies.

Recently foreign secretary Harsh V Shringla said Gulf is feeling the impact as cost of energy comes down, as a result, Indians coming back but India sees this "as a temporary phenomenon" as production picks up "they will require the expertise of our expats".

Gulf countries while are not keen on any foreigners coming now amidst COVID-19, are keen to have Indian healthcare workers deal with the ongoing global pandemic.