Manama: A committee tasked with addressing the demographic imbalance in Kuwait is expected to recommend a cap on the number of foreigners in the country.
Foreigners make up two thirds of the total population of 4.4 million in the northern Arab Gulf state and several lawmakers and officials have called for practical ways to deal with the issue.
The higher committee commissioned to study the demographic imbalance has reportedly opted for six recommendations that the country should adopt to help reach a solution, Kuwaiti daily Al Qabas reported on Monday.
The committee recommended that the number of visas accorded to Kuwaiti citizens to recruit domestic helpers should be slashed by up to 50 per cent.
Reports say at least 600,000 people from various regions are employed as domestic helpers in Kuwait, representing one fourth of the 2.4 million helpers in the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The committee also urged a reduction by 25 per cent of the visas accorded to security companies that have contracts with the government.
These companies should rely more on advanced technology to carry out their work, the committee said.
Limiting number of years foreigners can stay in Kuwait is also among recommendations.
Such limits would apply to those working in specific categories and they would be expected to leave without the right to return.
The residency cap should be between 10 and 20 years, the committee said.
Authorities should also slash the number of visas anyone living in Kuwait can apply for annually.
The arrangement should be coordinated with the Ministry of Interior.
The authorities should enact a law that doubles the fines for breaching residency rules in Kuwait, according to another recommendation.
The committee called for the enactment of a law that would punish anyone who helps or incites any expatriate to abscond from home.
The committee argued that marginalised workers were mainly domestic helpers who had absconded from their employers’ home and caused chaos in the labour market.
Lawmakers who have been complaining about the high number of expatriates in the country have been pushing for drastic measures that would include imposing various types of taxes on foreigners.
Those who opposed the measures said that it was not fair to attack the most vulnerable segment of the society and that the action should be against those who encouraged them to go to Kuwait without securing jobs for them.