By B Izzak

KUWAIT: A special government committee entrusted to cut the number of expats in the country adopted at its first meeting on Thursday a series of measures aimed at amending the imbalance in the demographic structure, which is tilted in favor of expats. Headed by Interior Minister Sheikh Talal Al-Khaled Al-Sabah, the committee also adopted the necessary bylaws to help implement a law issued in 2020 aimed at reducing the number of expats and creating more jobs for Kuwaiti citizens.

The law aims at amending the imbalance in the population structure by reducing the number of expats, who currently form nearly 70 percent of the country’s 4.5 million. MPs had demanded at the time of passing the law to make expats and Kuwaitis equal within five years. Sheikh Talal said the committee wants to deal with the distortions and imbalances in the population structure and the labor market in the country.

The committee issued a decision making it obligatory for cooperative societies to speed up the process of appointing only Kuwaitis in senior positions at the societies, and increase the mandatory percentage of Kuwaiti employees to create around 3,000 new jobs for nationals. The committee issued a decision requiring the Public Authority of Manpower to design special training programs for Kuwaitis to develop their skills and enable them to find appropriate jobs in the private sector.

Meanwhile, MP Abdulaziz Al-Saqaabi sent a series of questions to the minister of education over the ministry’s efforts to curb cheating in exams following the busting of a network of 17 people who leaked the questions of higher secondary exams. He asked for the number of cheating cases in higher secondary exams registered by the ministry during the past five years, and inquired about the measures taken by the ministry to curb cheating. The lawmaker asked the minister if the education ministry had asked the health ministry about installing jamming devices at examination halls, and if yes, what was the answer of the health ministry.