Singapore to limit foreign workers inflow
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Last Updated: Friday, February 17, 2012, 23:35
Singapore: Singapore will further control the inflow of foreign workers the manufacturing and service sectors; city state's Deputy Prime Minister said on Friday, a move which may affect Indian workers also.

Singapore will control the inflow of foreign workers, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who is also Minister for Finance, said in a budget speech in Parliament.

He said the limit on foreign workers would be lowered in the manufacturing and service sectors through a calibrated reduction in the Dependency Ratio Ceilings (DRCs), which specify the maximum proportion of foreign workers a company could hire.

In Singapore, the banking-finance and IT sectors welcome Indians with open arms.

From July 2012, the DRC for manufacturing companies would be lowered to 60 per cent from 65 per cent and service industry would be 45 per cent from 50 per cent.

Special pass or 'S Pass' Sub-DRC would also be reduced to 20 per cent from 25 per cent across all sectors, he said, pointing out that the slower economic growth would allow companies to make such adjustments.

But Tharman assured that existing foreign workers would not be affected by the new change though the manufacturing and services would not be allowed to bring in new foreign workers. Foreign workers in the construction sector would also be affected, he said.

The change being made in foreign workers employment was part of Singapore's move to restructure the economy to grow income steadily among locals.

The change would also aim to build an inclusive society by generating resources to help all Singaporeans get a fair share of the economic pie and would provide for Singapore's economy to grow on the basis of skills, innovation and productivity.

Tharman said more help would given to support the lower and middle income Singaporeans though education, work, housing and healthcare. The change in foreign workers employment comes in response to rising concern among Singaporeans about losing jobs to foreigners.

However, leaders of the ruling Peoples' Action Party have conceded that Singapore would have to depend on migrants workers, especially professionals, to help keep up with Singapore economic growth while local population growth has been virtually stagnant.


First Published: Friday, February 17, 2012, 23:35

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