Foreign workers make up 3.3 million of Kuwait’s 4.6 million population. Image Credit: AFP

Cairo: The coronavirus outbreak has prompted Kuwait to revive a plan aimed at addressing the population imbalance in the country and scale back the numbers of expatriates there, according to a report.

Foreign workers make up 3.3 million of Kuwait’s 4.6 million population.

According to the revived plan, the Kuwaiti government will seek to cut the numbers of expatriates to reach 1.5 million in five years’ time and set curbs to restrict the arrival of semi-skilled workers in the country, Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai said Monday, citing well-informed sources.

A quota system will be applied, allocating fixed labour shares for each foreign community, according to the sources. “Each community will be given a certain quota that will not exceed 20 per cent of the overall expat numbers,” the sources explained.

Under the same plan, residence permits for expatriates aged over 60 years will not be renewed except for limited professions. Furthermore, the expatriate’s residence in Kuwait will be for maximum 15 years.

“The plan also regulates the employment of domestic helpers, making their residence permits linked to the number of the employing family’s members. This aims at limiting the numbers of domestic workers who account for high percentage of expatriates,” the sources said.

There was no immediate official comment on the report.

In recent weeks, several Kuwaiti public figures have accused expatriates of straining the country’s health facilities and increasing the Covid-19 threat.