’Saudi Arabia is a great market for Pakistani expats’

KARACHI: Pakistan Overseas Employment Promoters Association (POEPA) on Wednesday said 70,000 workers have been sent abroad in one month despite global recession and shrinking job markets.

This has reduced unemployment in the country while ensuring decent life for dependants and will improve forex situation, it said. Speaking to a function, the newly elected Chairman of POEPA Chaudhry Mohammad Afzal said that uniform visa fee has been imposed across the country while rest of the charges have been declared illegal which has improved the situation.

He warned that those promoters who tried to get any extra charges would face action that include cancellation of their licences. Afzal said that job promoters can turn economy around by sending more manpower abroad but this is tied to cooperation by the government. He said that Saudi Arabia is not only the most powerful and stable economy in the world but a great market for Pakistani expats from where we receives almost six billion dollars per annum.

Recipients of remittances spent 22 percent on real estate, 18 percent on food, 17 percent on marriages and rest on miscellaneous expenses, he said adding that it benefits all facets of economy with lions share worth Rs 450 billion going to real estate.

He called for an ambitious plan to boost number of expats which are now nine million that can resolve many pressing problems country is facing.