ISLAMABAD: Parliamentary Secretary for Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Syed Agha Rafiullah informed the National Assembly that as many as 829,549 emigrants were registered for overseas employment through the Bureau of Immigration and Overseas Employment during the calendar year 2022, the highest since last five years.
In response to various questions, he said that since 1971, 12.45 million Pakistani workers had been registered with the Bureau of Immigration and Overseas Employment for employment abroad till 2022. However, a declining trend was observed in the years 2020 & 2021 as only 224,705 and 286,648 emigrants were registered respectively due to Covid-19 restrictions, he said.
The parliamentary secretary said that the Bureau of Immigration and Overseas Employment has taken several measures to explore and tap the international job markets for intending emigrants. He said that the diversification strategy adopted to shift focus to new labor markets and the declaration of Intent on Migration & Mobility has already been signed with Greece and the UK and soon would be signed with Germany.
Parliamentary secretary says no dedicated mechanism to provide protection to properties of overseas Pakistanis
The parliamentary secretary said that 12 memorandums of understanding on manpower export with different countries, including Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Iran, Italy, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Portugal, Romania and Uzbekistan, were under bilateral discussion. He also said that the federal minister for overseas visited Romania and Portugal to explore new regular labor migration avenues.
He said that the government had appointed 24 Community Welfare Attaches in 16 different countries to explore new avenues for Pakistani manpower through Labor Market Analysis of the host country so that skilled Pakistani intending emigrants could be imparted required training as per labor market requirements of the host country.
He said approximately nine million Pakistanis were working or residing in different countries around the world and contributing towards the socio-economic development of the country. However, he said that there was no dedicated mechanism for providing solutions to the protection of their properties. In order to address the issue, the government undertook the initiative of proposing a bill that would address their grievances and provide protection to overseas Pakistanis with regard to their properties.
‘Approximately nine million overseas Pakistanis are contributing towards socio-economic development of Pakistan’
To another question, the parliamentary secretary said that all the regular employees of OPF schools and colleges were getting minimum remuneration as prescribed by the government. Furthermore, contract employees were being paid a salary as per the terms and conditions of contractual employment rules/polices and as per advertisements published in newspapers at the time of hiring, he said.
However, he said that the remuneration of some contract employees was still less than the minimum wages as declared by the federal government. Up to a 10% annual increment was also granted to the contractual employees upon renewal of their annual contracts, he said.