In a statement given by MP Khalil Al-Saleh, Head of the National Assembly Committee for the replacement of expats working in the government last March 18, the panel working on the proposed labour changes has already decided to push for the complete Kuwaitization by 2023 in accordance with the government’s vision and timeline.
Currently, there are around 80,000 expats holding posts in the public sector, or about 20 per cent of all government employees in Kuwait, who hold legal and official contracts according to Saleh.
On the government’s estimate on the completion of the replacement of expats in the public sector by 2028, Saleh commented that some public advisors have been hindering the process. He also pointed out that nationals are just as competent and qualified to take over various government posts, and that all they need to dominate in this sector is the confidence on their abilities to carry out their duties and a ruling body that fully trusts on its citizens instead of expatriates to carry out administrative work for the country’s progress.
The replacement policy, which had been initiated over two decades ago, called for each ministry and government agency to reduce the number of expats holding government posts by at least ten per cent on an annual basis to accommodate more jobs for Kuwaiti nationals in the public sector. The reduction rate was raised to 15 per cent yearly from 2007. According to Saleh, Kuwaiti nationals can easily take over the job posts vacated by expatriates such as those in administrative research and coordination, data registry, secretarial and educational services, computer operations and programming, transaction follow-up, clerical, telecommunication, safety and security, procurement, accounting, as well as transportation services.
Saleh pointed out that the government’s failure to follow through the replacement policy should not be overlooked. And to this, he demanded that those who had a hand in the delay of the program be exposed. Saleh, on behalf of the National Assembly, sternly gave a warning that the Committee will look into every study and statistics done by the government to look into the individuals responsible for the delay of the replacement plans and to question these entities in public, if need be.