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Higher fees, fines recommended for slashing expat numbers

The Supreme Committee in Kuwait has suggested various measures to deal with demographic imbalance in Kuwait, and to achieve higher growth rate of Kuwaitis.

The Committee called to restrict hiring domestic helpers by imposing higher fees, reducing the issuance of visas per person per year from five to three, and toughening the punishment of residency law violators by imposing a fine of KD4 per day to maximum of KD1000.

The Committee announced several other measures and procedures and executive mechanisms to limit the increase in expats, who surpass the number of nationals, three to one.

Security measures resulted in deporting 1,238 roaming vendors and suspending 1529 files through intensified campaigns and inspection of residency and labour law violators.

A circular issued by the Social Affairs Ministry, sent to the National Assembly, said that the Supreme Committee has directed Interior Ministry and the Manpower Authority to not approve the transfer of a woman’s residency permit in case of divorce, to work in the private sector, and ensure that workers on temporary government contracts leave the country at the earliest after completion of their contract period.

The circular also demanded that no family residency permit be given to the children living in the country, unless their father has a valid residency permit, while a mother cannot sponsor her children, except those with specialized skills needed in the country.

It further said that domestic helpers at Embassies are allowed to leave, and it was co-ordinated with the Interior Ministry to give the domestic help department of the Interior Ministry the authority to arrest violators who carry article 20 residencies and work in bogus domestic help offices.

The Civil Service Commission, in the meanwhile, said the reduction in expat numbers in ministries and government departments will not happen suddenly. The Cabinet has granted permission to concerned authorities to reduce the number of expats in the public sector, as per recommendation by Supreme Committee, say informed sources.

According to sources, the Committee has already taken effective measures to adjust the population structure without affecting the marketplace and requirements of development projects, and private sector needs.

The sources said that the manpower authority has written to government authorities to reduce the number of expats in ministries by 25 percent in sectors like security and cleaning.

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