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Kuwait Panel rejects proposals targeting expatriates

The Interior and Defense Committee of the National Assembly rejected a series of proposals targeting expats, early this week. Among the rejected proposals were suggestions to steeply raise driving license fee, stop issuance of dependent visas etc.

The Committee unanimously rejected a proposal submitted last month that called to raise charges to obtain a new driving license for expats from KD20 to KD1000. The proposal also suggested increasing renewal fee of license from KD1 to KD500 annually, and to increase expat vehicle registration fee to KD500 annually from the current KD5.

The committee mentioned that although the proposal was meant to resolve the traffic problem in the country, the proposed fee is too steep, and is sure to cause a burden to expats, with majority of them receiving low salaries, it would be difficult for them to pay huge charges.

The committee also rejected the proposal that called to ban expats from obtaining family dependent visas, except for their parents, and to double the fee for recruitment of expats, apart from limiting their duration of stay in the country to just 10 years.

Although the proposal will rectify the imbalance in demographic structure, it would lead to be a huge financial burden on expats. Limiting the stay of expats to 10 years will create shortage of certain jobs in local market, the panel pointed out.

However, a third proposal calling on government to compel contractors of government project to ensure the departure of their workers on completion of the project was approved.

The Assembly’s Human Rights Defense Committee also approved a proposal that called on government not to pay contractors money before they submit the evidence that they have paid their employees.

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