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'Relentless' in reducing expats in public sector: Kuwaiti MP

A skyline view of Kuwait City.

A skyline view of Kuwait City.

Reuters/Stephanie McGehee

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2017

Manama: A Kuwaiti lawmaker on Wednesday said that he would keep up pressure on ministers to ensure foreign consultants are not recruited and the contracts of current ones are not renewed.

“I have submitted my question about the number of expatriates employed in the public sector, but most of the ministers did not respond,” MP Abdul Kareem Al Kandari said. “Maybe there are attempts to hide some of the names from us, but I can assure you that we will get all the names from Kuwaitis who are hard-working, but are sidelined,” the lawmaker told the parliament session.

Al Kandari also warned against tampering with figures and names in order not to reveal the extent of the presence of expatriates in public offices, institutions or schools.

“We are aware that 96,000 foreigners are employed by the Ministry of Education, and we would like to know the reasons for such a high figure. We would like also to know whether these people were hired from their home country or here in Kuwait,” he said.

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The MP said that some ministers have terminated the contracts of foreigners in their offices.

“I single out the justice minister for taking the step to end the contracts of some of the expatriates in his office, and I want to stress that Kuwaitis should be the first choice for recruitment, especially that we have competent people with high degrees and enough experience. However, if the ministers do not trust them, then we have a different situation.”

Several Kuwaiti lawmakers have been pushing for a discussion in the parliament of the demographic imbalance in the country and finding solutions.

Two-thirds of the total population of more than four millions in Kuwait are foreigners, mainly unskilled workers and domestic helpers.

By Habib Toumi Bureau Chief

Gulf News 2017. All rights reserved.

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