Seven lakh Indians may have to leave Kuwait if new law is made

 06 Jul 2020 ( Perwez Anwer, MD & CEO, IBTN GROUP )

The law being made in Kuwait about migrants has rekindled the concerns of Indians living in the Gulf country when two years ago, hundreds of Indian engineers had to lose their jobs due to a change in rules.

According to the English newspaper 'Arab News', the legal committee of the National Assembly of Kuwait has accepted the provision of a bill being prepared on migrants as legitimate.

According to reports, this proposal is going to be sent to other committees for approval. The draft of this law says that the number of Indians living in Kuwait should be limited to 15 percent of the country's total population.

It is believed that out of the nearly 10 lakh overseas Indians living there, seven lakh people may have to return in case the bill passes.

The native Kuwaitis have a population of only thirteen-and-a-half million, out of a total population of about forty five lakhs of this small country in the north of Saudi Arabia and south of Iraq.

Egypt, Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and other countries have the highest number of migrants present here.

According to the news, the proposed law has been said to reduce the number of people living in Kuwait from other countries. It has been said that the number of migrants will be reduced from the present level to 30 percent of the total population.

Nasir Mohammed (name changed), who works in a Kuwait national company, is forced to work as a supervisor despite having an engineering degree.

He says, "Indians living here are wondering what will happen if the bill becomes law?"

Nasir Mohammed still considers himself lucky that he got a job in the new company instead of the old company, or because of being excluded from the scope of the new Kuwaiti rules that came in 2018, IIT and BITS Pilani have only seen jobs from engineers passed to BITS Pilani. - She had gone to see.

India's former foreign minister Sushma Swaraj had also raised the matter of engineers with the government of Kavat but no solution could be found.

Says Nasir Mohammed, "The situation is that a lot of Indians who have obtained engineering degrees are working on the salaries and ranks of supervisors, foremen, etc. in Kuwait while on duty they have to play an engineer."

Mohammad Ilyas, a resident of Hyderabad, living in Kuwait, says that the new expatriate law-like rule has been recurring since the 2008 economic downturn and intensified in 2016 when Saudi Arabia implemented the law. .

According to Nitaqat law, the job rate of local people in Saudi Arabia government departments and companies has to be raised.

Last year, a Kuwaiti MP, Khalid al-Saleh, issued a statement demanding the government to "stop the storm of migrants who have seized jobs and services provided by government."

A second MP, Safa al-Hashem, said a few years ago that "the law should be brought to allow migrants not to give driving licenses for a year and keep a car."

This statement of Safa al-Hashem was also condemned in some circles.

In Kuwait's National Assembly, 50 MPs are elected, although the emir is believed to be in a decision-making role there.

Recently, when there is talk of new law, some local people have also been seen making statements against it.

From the end of the 19th century to 1961, Indians had begun to visit Kuwait, which had been under the 'protection' of Britain for a long time. At this time Indians are present there in almost all areas from business, the number of people working in Kuwaiti homes, from drivers to cooks to Aya (women maids), is said to be three and a half lakh. People believe that it will not be easy to fill their space with other people in a hurry.

Revan D'Souza's family migrated from India to Kuwait in the 1950s, and he too has been born there.

Revan D'Souza is the editor of the local English newspaper Times Kuwait.

During a conversation with the BBC, he says, "The bill on migrants has just been accepted by the legal committee as being compatible with the constitution, yet it has to go through many more committees such as the Human Resources Committee and other phases. Only then will it be passed as a bill Will be able to present it. It is possible only after that it becomes law.''

Revan D'Souza also sees it from another perspective.

He says that in the midst of the crisis arising out of the Covid-19 and the government of India ignoring the demand of the local government to take back the illegal people living there, there is anger in some circles of Kuwaiti government and now that someone do not want to depend on the working people of a country.


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