Saudi Government Does An Uncle Sam With Plan To Fire Foreigners, Hire Locals
Saudi Government Does An Uncle Sam With Plan To Fire Foreigners, Hire LocalsMigrant workers (Brent Stirton/Getty Images) 

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.

An Appeal...

Dear Reader,

As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.

Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.

We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.

Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.

Become A Patron
Become A Subscriber