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March 29, 2018

Manpower export to Gulf states from Pakistan touches lowest ebb


March 29, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Amid the dwindling foreign exchange reserves, the country is going to brave another threat of massive reduction in remittances in near future as manpower exports to Gulf States have touched lowest ebb in Pakistan’s history on account of new restriction seeking police character certificates for intending workers.

The reduction in remittances means massive blow to the foreign exchange reserves, but the authorities concerned are unmoved over the appalling situation. The UAE countries have imposed some two to three months back the new restriction seeking the police character certificate for work visa to avoid the maximum influx of people from Pakistan, India and other countries. The character certificate will have to get first attested from foreign office and UAE Embassy in Pakistan making the process more discouraging in exports of the manpower, a senior official told The News.

More importantly the UAE authorities have conveyed Pakistani counterparts saying if the police certificates of intending Pakistan workers are not provided within two weeks time, then manpower demand for Pakistan will stand cancelled.

This means that the quota in jobs allocated to Pakistan will go to Indian workers as Indian government while using its diplomatic skills has managed to get abolished the condition of police certificates for Indian workers having the opportunity to fill the space in jobs allocated for Pakistani workers.

“This development is eye opener for Pakistan’s authorities who are least interested to get the restriction waived off,” Senator Envor Beg told The News. He said Indians know how to operate and no wonder their home remittances are touching $60 billion per annum whereas Pakistan’s remittances stand at $17 billion and if the government continues to remain inactive, then Pakistan will sustain the huge dent in the foreign exchange reserves.

Beg said Pakistan government is dying for loans from friendly countries to boost the foreign exchange reserves but not ready to initiate the efforts like Indian government to have exemption from police character certificate for Pakistan workers who alone can provide solace to Pakistan in the shape of remittances from Arab states. He said the government has to wake up before it is too late. For Dubai Expo 2020 the manpower companies are exporting human resources from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.

The companies dealing with manpower export are quite perturbed as the UAE Embassy in Pakistan has hired Korea service—private company for timely delivery of character certificates, but it is not being managed as the number of intending Pakistani workers run into thousands which is why huge numbers of applicants are stuck up in the process.

The official said that the same restriction of police character certificate was also imposed on India and Bangladesh, but Indian government has dealt it skillfully and got the restriction abolished. Now Indian workers are feared to grab jobs allocated for Pakistani workers as UAE government has asked for provision of police character certificates within 2 week which seems next to impossible while keeping in view the cumbersome process in getting cleared the certificates from foreign office and UAE Embassy.

More importantly Qatar and Kuwait has unofficially imposed ban on import of Pakistan workers, as the manpower export to the said countries have gone down remarkably.

According to the latest official data, Pakistan’s exports of manpower to Saudi Arabia were at 5,22,700 in 2015 which massively tumbled to just 1,43,000 in 2017. Similarly, the manpower export to UAE stood at 3,26,900 in 2015 that has gone down to 2,75,4336 in 2017.

Coming to Qatar, the manpower export from Pakistan was at 12,741 in 2015 which reduced to 11,595 in 2017 and to Kuwait, the manpower export remained at just 164 in 2015, 770 in 2016 and 773 in 2017 showing that substantial diplomatic efforts are required to boost Pakistan human resources exports to Gulf countries as diaspora in Arab states guarantees the permanence in major flows of remittances.

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