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Kuwait to stop hiring domestic helps, private sector workers from India

Kuwait is imposing a ban on recruitment of Indian domestic helpers and workers in the private sector.

The ban was decided following talks between Kuwaiti officials from foreign and interior ministries and Indian ambassador to Kuwait Sunil Jain, who failed to overcome divergences over a decision by New Delhi to impose a bank guarantee (KD730) for recruitment of Indian domestic helpers working overseas.

All immigration directorate and service centres in Kuwait have been informed about the ban orally, and the ban will be announced formally soon.

The ambassador in his talks, recently said that there is a possibility to reconsider the bank guarantee over Indian males working in Kuwait, but the imposition of guarantee would be insisted in case of female domestic helps.
According to the diplomat, the guarantee is intended to protect the rights of the helpers, and the principle has been applied in various other European countries and in all other GCC states without any objection by the authorities.
However, Assistant Undersecretary for Passports and Residency, Mazen Al Jarrah, who was also present in the meeting, said that Kuwait was committed not to have more financial pressure exerted on its citizens.

He further said that Kuwait Parliament would never tolerate the bank guarantee condition imposed by Indian authorities.

The Indian embassy in Kuwait said that the bank guarantee would be used for repatriation of housemaid and other unpaid expenses like medical expenses, salary, etc., in case the employer fails to pay the same as per the terms of the agreement.

The bank guarantee is to be submitted in original to Embassy of India. On termination of the employment contract at any time by mutual consent, the employer will have to bring the domestic worker to the embassy of India and submit a written request for refund of the bank guarantee before departure of domestic worker back to India.

Before that, however, the domestic worker would have to confirm in writing that all her dues have been settled. If the worker complains of non-receipt of her dues, the Embassy would deduct the same from bank guarantee.
However, Kuwaitis have refused the new Indian conditions and might consider suspending recruitment of manpower from India, in retaliation for bank guarantee decision.

The Indian community is the largest in Kuwait with about 750,000 people, including 270,000 domestic helps.

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