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ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource was informed that a total of 9,200 Pakistanis are in jails all over the world.

The committee was also informed that the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) has recovered Rs5.44 billion, so far, from various departments of foreign countries, and handed over to the aggrieved families of the 8,140 people who have died abroad.

The committee met with Senator Manzoor Ahmed Kakar in the chair at the Parliament House, on Thursday.

The meeting of the Standing Committee reviewed in detail, the issues of delay in payment to the families of Pakistanis, who died abroad from the OPF and other relevant institutions, as well as the application of Shafiqur Rehman, a former employee of the Employees' Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI).

The director general of the OPF briefed the Standing Committee on the details of delays in payment to the families of Pakistanis, who have passed away abroad from the OPF and other relevant institutions.

He said that a total 8,140 Pakistanis have died abroad, while Rs5.44 billion been remitted so far to their families by recovering from various departments of foreign countries.

The Standing Committee was informed that during the last five years, recovery of 1,369 cases have been made and handed over to their families, while as many as 6,587 cases are being processed.

The Standing Committee was informed that the employees who die abroad their dues are recovered from the concerned departments and given to their families.

Most of the cases are of Pakistanis living in Saudi Arabia their ratio is 95 percent. He said that the OPF is providing facilitator services. The OPF director general said that aggrieved families have faced difficulty for receiving a succession certificate, which leads to delays in cases.

He said that the family of a person who dies abroad receives three types of assistance. He said that the deceased employee receives Rs4 million from the concerned department abroad, the OPF provides Rs 4 lakh, while the Bureau of Immigration Insurance provides Rs1 million to the family.

The Standing Committee was informed that Rs850 million is payable to the families on 2,131 cases. He said that if the Ministry of Finance provides all the amount, we can give the aggrieved families for relief.

The DGOPF informed the Standing Committee that Rs2.5 billion has been paid for the cases of 12,265 people working abroad during the last 40 years. He said that due to the corona pandemic, the revenue of the OPF has decreased significantly.

The director general said that majority are imprisoned in Saudi Arabia and Dubai on crimes of murder, drugs, and others. Senator Sherry Rehman said that thousands of Pakistanis abroad have been imprisoned for many years for petty crimes.

She said that they have served their sentences but are living a life of imprisonment due to lack of money. He said that before the corona pandemic, in 2019, the OPF's revenue was Rs952 million, while during the pandemic, it was limited to Rs4.3 million.

The Committee chairman said that the details of those who are imprisoned for minor crimes should be provided to the committee.

Senator Rana Mahmood Al-Hassan said that amount of billions of rupees has been recovered but trillions are yet to be recovered.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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