Kuwait will decommission the employment of expatriates to positions in Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and its subsidiaries for the year 2020-2021, Kuwait's Minister of Oil, Acting Minister of Electricity and Water, Khaled Al-Fadhel, said on Wednesday.
The minister, addressing a parliamentary committee session, also said he would allow the laying off of some local workers in national petroleum companies, according to Kuwait News Agency.
The price of Kuwaiti oil has dropped during the global coronavirus crisis due to a supply glut in the market glut and the fall in demand, although he said the markets are recovering and crude prices are rebounding.
"The oil sector must not remain the sole source of income," he said while urging for private sector involvement to boost the national economy.
In line with this goal, Kuwait's prime minister said on June 3 that the country's expatriate population should be more than halved to 30% of the total, as the coronavirus pandemic and a slump in oil prices send shudders through Gulf economies.
The prime minister proposed the replacement of all ex-patriate government employees, estimated at 100,000, with Kuwaitis along with the introduction of a quota system.
Indians constitute the largest group of expatriates in Kuwait, with an estimated population of one million with annual remittances worth $4.8 billion.
The oil-rich country is also heavily dependent on foreign workers, which total nearly 3.4 million out of Kuwait's 4.8 million population.
By Busranur Begcecanli