Kuwait encourages foreign families to settle in emirate
Kuwait cut Monday the salaries expatriate workers need to earn before their families can join them in the emirate in an effort to change the make-up of the Gulf state's society, 61 percent of whom are male.
Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Khaled al-Sabah said expatriate workers, who make up 1.4 million, or 63 percent, of Kuwait's total population of 2.228 million, will now have to earn 400 dinars ($1,310) a month for their families to be allowed to settle here.
Previously, foreign workers in the public sector had to draw a monthly salary of 450 dinars ($1,475), while those in the private sector had to earn 650 dinars ($2,130).
The measure comes into effect after publication in the official gazette, possibly on August 27. Kuwait's Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI) said in a recent report that 60.8 percent of the emirate's total population are male, a ratio of 1.55 males for each female.
The ratio amongst expatriates alone is two men to one woman.
A government decision last April to apply a costly health insurance scheme on expatriates only has forced many foreign families to return home for financial reasons.
Kuwait's foreign population comprises some 290,000 Indians, 274,000 Egyptians, 157,000 Bangladeshis, 101,000 Pakistanis and 100,000 Sri Lankans. There are around 300,000 employed as domestic helpers alone. – (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)