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New budget ignores non-resident Pakistanis

Internews Report

ISLAMABAD: To the surprise of many, the new government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in its first national budget has simply ignored the option of enhancing the foreign remittances, which have been the only source of regular inexpensive revenue in the recent years and according to the party’s own experts could be doubled to $24 billion in one year.

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Amid fears that 35,000 Pakistani workers are facing deportation from Saudi Arabia, the area of human resource export requires special attention of the present government not only to secure the flow of foreign remittances but also to enhance them to maximum level, according to economists.

Only recently PML-N leader and expert on human resource export Senator Enver Beg had claimed that he had shared with his party leadership the plan of doubling the remittances from existing $12 billion to $24 billion by exploiting the Pakistani workers’ market in the friendly countries, particularly the Arab states.

Beg had also claimed that he had already shared with the top economic team of the PML-N the strategy to double the export of Pakistani workers, which would immediately enhance the remittances.

Through these increased remittances, it is said that Pakistan could ease on its foreign exchange reserves and there would be less burden on the Finance Ministry to obtain loans from international donors like the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, which attach political strings with such loans.

Sharing the figures of workers export during 2012, Beg had said the present export to countries like Libya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Qatar, Bahrain was disappointing whereas Pakistan could easily double its present human resource export to Saudi Arabia and UAE where in 2012 a total of 358,560 and 182,630 workers were sent, respectively.

He said there was considerable demand of trained agriculturalists, masons, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, steel fixers, painters, laborers, technicians, mechanics, drivers, operator, surveyor, fitter, salesman, etc.

While 35,000 Pakistanis are facing deportation threat, there is no indication if the present government has moved to prevent this. It is said that New Delhi had recently sent its senior delegation to Riyadh to avoid the deportation of 75,000 Indians.

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