National Assembly panels discuss citizens’ employment


MP Saleh Ashour

KUWAIT: The National Assembly committee for the employment of citizens and replacing expatriates yesterday discussed with a number of ministries the process of speeding up employing more Kuwaitis in the public sector by replacing expatriates.

Member of the committee MP Saleh Ashour said the panel learned that as many as 12,000 citizens or awaiting the opportunity to get a government job and that it was not possible to lay off expatriates in a number of sectors especially in the health and education ministries.

He said that during the meeting, attended by the oil minister and representatives for several state agencies, the government team presented its findings and plans about replacing expatriates with Kuwaitis over the next five years.

About 100,000 expatriates are employed in government ministries and departments against around 300,000 Kuwaitis. Most of the expatriates are employed in highly-skilled jobs like doctors, engineers, experts and judges and their replacement by nationals is extremely difficult. In addition, there are other jobs which Kuwaitis don’t like.

A majority of Kuwaiti job-seekers prefer government jobs over the private sector because it offers higher salaries, better work conditions and fewer working hours. Over three-quarters of Kuwaiti workforce are employed in the government and many of the remaining quarter are themselves employers.

Head of the assembly budgets committee MP Adnan Abdulsamad said yesterday the committee discussed a report by the interior ministry on its investigation on the so-called hospitality spending under the previous minister. He said the investigation concerns the ministry of finance and also the ministry of interior, adding that the interior ministry report is almost similar to the investigation of the Audit Bureau.

A number of lawmakers had raised questions about a sharp rise in the hospitality spending by the interior ministry from just a couple of million dinars annually normally to over KD 20 million two years ago. Abdulsamad said the committee will take about two weeks to study the issue before referring its report to the national assembly for debate.


By B Izzak

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