KUWAIT: Kuwait plans to suspend issuing work permits to recruit labor forces from outside less than a year after it lifted a ban on foreign workers' recruitment, a local daily reported yesterday. The Manpower Public Authority is planning to take that step after discovering that opening foreign recruitment for private companies has allowed nearly 10,000 workers to enter Kuwait in less than six months. As a result, the authority believes that the recruitment process needs to be stopped and reassessed in order to prevent further damage to Kuwait's demographic structure, reported Annahar.

Kuwait is home to 2,8 million expatriates, who make up 68 percent of the country's population of 4,1 million, compared to 1,2 million Kuwaitis who make up 31,1 percent of the total population, according to Public Authority for Civil Information statistics. Meanwhile, official statistics show that the public sector employs 138,227 expatriates compared to 323,422 Kuwaitis, while the private sector employs 1,329,860 expatriates compared to 92,481 Kuwaitis. - Annahar

Manpower and labor transfer fees

Manpower Public Authority Acting Director Ahmed Al-Moussa has asked that all decisions made regarding the six labor departments be unified regarding transferring visas of laborers working for governmental projects to the private sector. The laborer must pay a KD 300 fee for the transfer. Further, Al-Moussa stressed that all heads of departments would be subjected to special training courses on how to use the new automated system. The Manpower Authority has also sent inspection teams to check on firms' working hours and to ensure that citizens employed with companies are in fact working during office hours.