MPs are closely following the decisions made by the joint meeting of social affairs and interior ministries held on Sunday to introduce new rules limiting the issuance of driving licenses and reducing the number of ‘mandoubs’.
The most notable point however was limiting the increase of expats’ salaries by more than KD 50 per year. “Do not cut the livelihood of the people” was the phrase that led the parliamentary rejection of the “restrictions” on expat workers, part of several decisions that were made to correct of the population imbalance and reduce traffic jams. MP Yousef Al-Zalzalah described the limiting of salary increases of expats to KD 50 per year as an “illogical procedure”, and wondered how the decision was made.
He said if there was a good employee who deserves more than a KD 50 raise, “is he supposed to be rewarded or marginalized”? Zalzalah said “the unstudied decisions affect the entire scene in general” and demanded that the population structure be given to a specialized body that studies it from both a logical and implementable angle.
He said, “we have been hearing about fixing the population structure for the past 30 years and so far we do not feel any logical solution has been found”. MP Fares Al-Otaibi said that “there should a well-studied and logical treatment of the problem without handicapping people’s livelihood. It is only logical that salaries should not be limited and we must show we are in a country of goodness.” He said there should be a realistic study that reduces the number of marginal laborers through the formation of a joint committee and to reduce the number of laborers that do not have any justification for being here.
Otaibi found it strange that decisions were being made that made expat problems more complicated instead of simply solving them.