In the time of coronavirus Pandemic, problems are coming one after the other. Where the whole world is facing economic crises, one more problem is ready to hit India. According to the Gulf news, the National Assembly’s legal and legislative committee of Kuwait has determined that the draft expat quota bill is constitutional, thus, it has passed the expat bill which includes that the number of other residents in Kuwait will not exceed 10 percent of the Kuwait total population itself.
Acceptance of this bill leads to a force of 7-8 million Indians to leave the Gulf Country. The National Assembly has approved the draft expat quota bill, according to which Indians should not exceed 15 percent of the population. The bill is to be transferred to the respective committee so that a comprehensive plan is created.
As per the out let reporters, this decision could result in 800,000 Indians leaving Kuwait, as the Indian community constitutes the largest expat community in Kuwait, totaling 1.45 million’. Out of the 4.3 million population of Kuwait, expats account for 3 million.
The bill is passed for reducing the number of Egyptians, who form the second largest expatriate community, to 10% of Kuwait’s total population. Kuwait is also a top source of remittances for India. In 2018, India received close to $4.8 billion from Kuwait as remittances. With its citizens turning into a minority, Kuwait has been working to reduce its dependence on foreign workers. The bill is seen as a manifestation of the fact that Kuwait no longer wants to remain an expat-majority nation.
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Indian officials have told that the Indian embassy was closely following developments related to the proposed legislation. India has so far not made any statement on the concerned issue.
It is very tough for Indian Workers who are working in the Gulf Countries to leave their job in one snap and return to the country. In 2009, the Indian embassy in 2009 had set up an Indian Worker’s Welfare Centre which provides a labour complaints redressal mechanism and accommodation for domestic workers in distress, a work contract attestation system, a toll-free telephone helpline, a free legal advice clinic and also a helpdesk to guide Indian nationals on problems faces by them.
Due to the pandemic, where the unemployment problem in India has been increasing rapidly, the proportionate rate of unemployment will surely increase with the return of workers from the Gulf Countries. It will also be a great stymie for the Indian Government in the path of combating with the fatal Chinese virus. They need to be kept in a separate isolation center and then after the government will need to help them in finding some work to carry on with their livelihood.
India has often in the past played up the role of the Indian community in Kuwait as an important factor in bilateral ties. As the MEA says, Indians are present in all segments of Society in Kuwait and largely considered disciplined, hardworking and law-abiding.