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ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary panel was informed on Friday that the country’s major focus is Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 to bolster its workforce in Saudi Arabia’s developing projects to boost collaboration with the Kingdom’s government and the private sector.

The Senate standing committee on Overseas Pakistanis, which met here with Manzoor Ahmed Kakar in the chair, was given a detailed briefing on implementation of a certified and licenced human resources strategy in Gulf countries.

The caretaker special assistant to the caretaker prime minister on overseas Pakistanis Jawad Malik highlighted the demand for maids in UAE and maintained that the ministry was working to reduce the age limit for women from 35 to 25 years and amend the condition of married women, as it hindered skilled young women from travelling abroad, so that young women could benefit from the growing demand for maids.

The meeting was told that Gulf countries had been the major destination for Pakistani workforce, with more than 12.5 million Pakistani emigrants proceeding to those countries for employment since 1971.

Senator Rukhsana Zuberi called for launching skill training programmes for locals to cope with the demand for skill-oriented jobs in Gulf countries.

Senator Manzoor Kakar highlighted the matter of illegal occupation of properties of overseas Pakistanis in Pakistan.

The SAPM said that the ministry had been aiming to establish special courts for the timely disposal of property disputes of overseas Pakistanis, adding special desks have also been established at Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Chief Commissioner Office for expatriates.

The committee directed the ministry to submit the relief data availed by overseas Pakistanis since initiation of special desk meant to facilitate the expatriates facing issues in the country.

The committee also deliberated on the transfer of Atiqueur Rehman, an employee of the Overseas Ministry, from Peshawar to Multan.

Senator Haji Hidayatullah Khan stated that, following an inquiry, it was informed that the transfer was made on account of misconduct.

The Secretary of Overseas Pakistanis clarified that the individual was transferred according to rules and not as a result of a penalty.

Moreover, the committee discussed the pending restoration of 34 employees in Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI), a matter raised by Senator Naseebullah Bazai.

He said that 358 employees were dismissed without giving any reason for the removal. However, the Supreme Court ordered restoration of 34 employees but the order had not been upheld by EOBI.

The chairperson EOBI Naheed Shah Durrani said that the apex court terminated the appointments of 358 employees, adding the special committee on affected employees had ordered the restoration of 34 employees, but the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had set aside the final order.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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