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Kuwait seeks demographic balance, eyeing stay limits on expats
September 6, 2016, 8:13 am

The State Ministry for Planning and Development Affairs has prepared a strategy to address the lopsided population structure issue through the medium-term development plan for fiscals 2015/2016 to 2020/2019 with demographics as the focus in the field of human development, says Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and State Minister for Planning and Development Hind Al-Subaih.

In response to the query of MP Khalil Abdullah, Al-Subaih attributed this problem to the rising number of expatriate workers in the private sector. She disclosed the ministry intends to take various steps to balance the population structure for the benefit of citizens. She said the government intends to limit the number of expatriates and their years of stay in Kuwait without affecting the development projects.

She explained such steps are aimed at ensuring the expatriate population is lower than that of Kuwaitis. She also unveiled plans to impose restrictions on the recruitment of domestic workers, tighten oversight procedures, hold accountable all those involved in visa trading, and implement stricter conditions for determining the actual manpower needs of companies.

She went on to say the target is to adjust the expatriate population growth rate in order to reduce, if not eliminate, marginal workers; while taking into consideration the needs of the workforce in various economic sectors and setting recruitment criteria for domestic workers. She added the estimated number of workers for the development plan is 68,317 individuals annually.

Talking about Bedouns, the minister pointed out that the problem with this category is related to security, not housing. She added the 2011 census revealed that the number of Bedouns totaled 101,263 — about 52,000 males and 48,000 females Meanwhile, MP Mohammed Tana Al- Anazi has forwarded questions to State Minister for Housing Affairs Yasir Aboul about the delayed signing of the second contract (infrastructure) for Al-Mutla residential city project.

He wants to know reasons behind the delay, number of stages in terms of the implementation of the project, and number of contracts which have yet to be signed. Furthermore, Al-Anazi asked Minister of Electricity and Water Ahmed Al-Jassar regarding the power supply in housing projects. He inquired about the mechanism for supplying electricity to these areas and details of international partnerships if any.

Source: Arab Times

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