Following in the footsteps of the United States, Saudi Arabia is gearing up to fire foreign nationals working in the Kingdom.
As part of the efforts to tackle unemployment among the local population, Saudi ministers have been asked to sack all expatriate workers in the next three years, as reported by The New Arab. The Kingdom’s ministry of civil service has said that only Saudi nationals would be able to work in the public sector by 2020.
One of the tasks taken up under the national transformation programme, part of and sets five-year targets for the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, the latest instruction will ensure all government positions are filled by Saudis. "There will be no expatriate workers in the government after 2020," said Abdullah al-Melfi, Deputy Minister for civil service, instructing ministry officials during a meeting.
An indirect result of the continued dip in oil prices, this major downsizing of non-Saudi nationals will see over 70,000 foreign nationals being sacked. This, the government believes, will result in a reduction in capital outflow and increase in work opportunities for locals as it will create new positions for over 700,000 unemployed Saudis.
"The complete nationalisation of government jobs is an important objective of the national transformation programme 2020 and the kingdom's Vision 2030,” Melfi is quoted as saying.
The move, if undertaken, will affect Indians working in the public sector there as well as the remittances that they send back home. India saw an 8.9 per cent drop in money sent back by its citizens from other countries in 2016. Low oil prices and weak economic growth in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries was a major driver. Large-scale layoffs in Saudi Arabia, the largest GCC state, may fuel this fall further.
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