ISLAMABAD-Minister for Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (OP&HRD) Sajid Hussain Turi has said that the government is working to allocate quota to Overseas Employment Promoters (OEPs) in order to increase manpower exports. He said this while addressing the business community during his visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI).
The minister said that the government has set a target of manpower export of one million this year and tapping new markets for manpower export as he has visited many countries including Romania, Portugal and Greece who have shown interest in importing manpower from Pakistan. He said that Malta, Poland, Hungary, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Tajikistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq have also shown interest to import manpower from Pakistan and MoUs are being signed with many of them in this regard. Sajid Hussain Turi said that over 4,700 OEPs are working in Pakistan out of which about 2,200 are active and stressed that they should play a role in promoting manpower exports while the government would facilitate them.
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He announced that OEPs would be included in the delegations of his ministry so that they could explore new avenues of manpower export. He said that special courts would be set up to decide the cases of overseas Pakistanis in 60 days, adding that more schools and industrial homes for overseas Pakistanis would also be set up. He said that protector offices in Islamabad, Sukkur, Abbottabad, Bannu, Gilgit-Baltistan would be opened to facilitate the OEPs in promoting manpower export. The minister added that a new policy for Community Welfare Attaches (CWAs) is being made to give them targets for community welfare and addressing the issues of overseas Pakistanis. He assured that all highlighted issues of the business community would be considered for redress.
Speaking at the occasion, Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, President, ICCI said that Pakistan is facing reducing foreign exchange reserves and promoting manpower export is the best option to enhance remittances and improve forex reserves. He said that 65 percent of the population of Pakistan is quite young and the government should equip this talent with latest skills and training to improve the prospects of manpower exports. He stressed that the rising difference between interbank and open market dollar rate should be taken up with the finance minister to address this issue as it would further reduce forex reserves and weaken our economy. Faad Waheed, Senior Vice President ICCI, Hafiz Faheem Iqbal Senior Vice Chairman, Asad Hafeez Kiyani Vice Chairman Pakistan Overseas Employment Promoters Association (POEPA), and others also highlighted various issues of OEPs related to NAVTTC, OPF, Bureau of Immigration, EOBI, Workers Welfare Fund and urged to cooperate in addressing them.
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