Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Sajid Hussain Turi has said that steps were afoot to send Pakistani workers and professionals abroad free of charge and minimise the hurdles for thousands of citizens seeking better professional opportunities in foreign countries.
Currently, Pakistanis trying to bid adieu to the country for greener pastures are required to pay fees ranging from Rs,50,000 to 100,000.
However, a summary seeking abolition of the charges as well as smoothing out of the bureaucratic maze will be soon presented to the cabinet for approval.
The move will essentially enable the government to export manpower to mitigate unemployment and earn precious foreign exchange.
Furthermore, in order to make the process transparent, easier and faster, the ministry has also directed the officials concerned to digitalise the protector office.
Mr Turi, who chaired a high-level meeting on Friday, was briefed by federal secretary, DG bureau of immigration, DG overseas employment corporation and other senior officers.
During the meeting, he announced that protector offices will be established soon in Bannu, Abbottabad, Sukkur, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir. The licenses of overseas promoters pending for three years were also issued, he added.
A summary would be prepared soon to fill the vacant posts so that the efficiency of the institutions can be improved, Mr Turi said and added that strict action would be taken against officials involved in illegal activities and corruption.
The minister stressed the importance of community welfare attaches (CWAs) to improve their performance for the welfare of overseas Pakistanis. However, an online meeting of all community CWAs will be held every fortnight to review the performance.
“I will not tolerate any negligence regarding the complaints of overseas Pakistanis, he warned and urged the Welfare attach to provide easy access to Pakistanis living abroad for solving their problems and welfare. The Ministry’s doors are always open for all kinds of cooperation and problems of overseas Pakistanis”, he said.
On the instructions of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, an online complaint portal is being established for overseas Pakistanis, he added.
Opportunities will be found in different countries for the export of OEC Pakistani manpower. He also hinted to initiate training and foreign language classes for OEC manpower export.
Rise in Pakistanis seeking jobs abroad
Pakistan is one of the biggest exporters of manpower, beating even India and Bangladesh by sending around 224,705 workers to different countries for various jobs in 2020 — a trend which has been rising steadily despite all odds.
This year, Pakistan ‘broke records’ after a surge in the number of citizens leaving the country for better professional opportunities.
Meanwhile, according to the Bureau of Emigration Overseas Employment (BEOE), an increase of 27.6 per cent was noted in the number of Pakistanis seeking jobs abroad in the year 2021 compared to the previous year.
Around 286,648 workers were registered for overseas employment in 2021, representing a 27.6% increase over the previous year. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (54%), Oman (13.4%) and Qatar (13.2%) are the main destinations for unskilled migrant workers from Pakistan in 2021.
An overall increasing trend was observed in terms of migrants registered in 2021 as compared to 2020.