Around 18,000 expatriates who violated the Residency Law are currently staying in shelters and are ready to leave Kuwait, while the total number of violators ranges from 158,000 to 433,000, says National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim quoting Minister of Social Affairs and State Minister for Economic Affairs Mariam Al-Aqeel.
Al-Ghanim made the statement Tuesday after a meeting in his office with Al- Aqeel, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Dr Ahmed Nasser Al-Muhammad and 18 MPs in attendance.
He disclosed they discussed several issues such as the progress of evacuating citizens from abroad, lopsided demographic structure and the actual number expatriates in the country.
He affirmed the two ministers listened to the suggestions and bills submitted by MPs on these issues.
According to the Speaker, the meeting tackled the issue of visa traders who are the main reason behind the rising number of freelance foreign workers. He pointed out that although the foreigners who paid a certain amount to enter Kuwait in order to realize their dream of becoming wealthy are wrong, those who violated laws, religion and humanitarian fundamentals committed a greater sin.
He thanked Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior and State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh for forming a fact-finding committee to investigate this issue. He said the mission of identifying and punishing members of the visa trading mafia is a daunting task, considering some officials facilitate procedures for visa traders while honest officials are keen on confronting them.
He called on the committee to quickly complete its task in order to cut the way for visa traders and prevent them from mixing the papers. “We will defeat visa traders. We will strike out this dark part from the shiny history of Kuwait,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Dr Ahmed Nasser Al-Muhammad expressed gratitude to Al-Ghanim and the MPs for inviting him to the meeting. He affirmed their suggestions and comments have been carefully recorded and considered for referral to the Cabinet.
He said he explained the issue of expatriates subjected to deportation orders during the meeting, adding that the MPs were informed about the regional and reinternational dimensions of this issue. On the other hand, MP Abdulwahab Al- Babtein requested Minister of Information Muhammad Al-Jabri, in his capacity as Director General of the Public Authority for Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR), to submit a report to the Assembly within one month about the agricultural plots that were withdrawn due to violations and the procedures taken against those proven to have committed violations.
He also asked Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Anas Al-Saleh to submit a report on visa trading within one month. He said the report should include details of files referred to the Public Prosecution and the mechanism adopted by the ministry to deal with the problem.
Moreover, MPs Osama Al-Shaheen and Muhammad Al-Dallal submitted a proposal to establish a faculty for nursing with a capacity to produce 500 Kuwaiti nurses per year.
The proposal stipulates offering special privileges in order to encourage Kuwaiti students to enroll in this faculty. Lastly, MP Riyadh Al-Adasani said the government has informed him that the concerned institutions like the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM), Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS), Civil Service Commission (CSC) and Ministry of Social Affairs are keen on addressing the problems of citizens who are not receiving salaries including the newly appointed employees and new retirees.