Pakistan manpower export to Saudi Arabia inviting huge remittances
May 13, 2011
Pakistan’s manpower is not educated, skilled based and talented but its export is one of the vibrant factors for our economy to attract huge foreign exchange in the country with continuous and tremendous growth of international remittances sent by them.
Saudi Arabia being a Muslim state is attractive for millions of Pakistani workers who seek their livelihood and bright future in the Holy land, migrating in thousands every month despite of getting lower wages.
According to oversees employment promoters, the number of visa issued by Saudi embassy and consulate has risen to 25,000 every month in which 70 to 80 percent of the aspirant workers do migrate every month to different cities of Saudi Arabia.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has become the largest market of Pakistan workers exports in the world. Besides Gulf States such as United Arab Emirate (UAE), Oman and Kuwait are attractive markets for manpower exports but majority of them have lost charms since the masse’s uprising hit economic activities and working environment in Yemen, Bahrain and Libya.
According to an estimate, Pakistani population in Saudi Arabia has exceeded to 1.5 million which is the highest overseas population of the country living abroad. United Kingdom (UK), United State of American (USA) and United Arab Emirate (UAE) are other countries with significant population of Pakistanis which varies from 1.2 million to 1 million as per estimate.
Pakistan remittance from KSA has increased significantly over the period of five years. The amount of remittance was recorded US $ 627 million in 2004-05, which is now increasing to US $ 1.822 billion in 2010-11 with the four fold addition.
Presently, Pakistanis living in Saudi have sent a colossal amount remittance, which is calculated as US $ 1.822 billion with 22 percent share of overall remittance that stood at US $ 8.016 billion so far in the current fiscal year till March. The amount is excluding of hundred thousands of riyals transferred to country through illegal or hundi system and families of overseas workers get their livelihood in this way.
The remittance contributed by Pakistanis workers in KSA is the second highest among all countries. The UAE contributed the highest remittance to country with its share equal to US $1.889 billion till March.
In KSA, Pakistan’s workers exported are mainly unskilled labourer and recruited for odd jobs such as sweeper, peon and genitors.
In addition, a large number of skilled workers are also migrating to Saudi who are skilled and getting employed as electrician, painter, plumber, technician, carpenter and etc. A middle category includes professionals in the field of medicine, healthcare, nursing, management, sales and courier services.
These lower to middle cadre employees get monthly salaries from 500 to 1500 riyal per month.
These all workers approach local agents or employment promoters in different cities to get work of different companies in Saudi Arabia on various lower and middle level employment as against Rs 100,000 to Rs 150,000 on the account of visa, work permit fees and airfare depending on nature of job, allowances, and workplace in host country.
The overseas job promoters normally charge their own fees for providing jobs to aspirants and processing passport and visa services mostly. As per estimate, there are 3,000 overseas job promoters registered with Pakistan Overseas Employment Promoters (POEPA).
Out of all migrant workers, 10 percent are educated and hired as doctor, engineer, teachers, bankers, IT and telecom experts and accountants. These professionals are fortunate to have handsome salaries along with fringe benefits, accommodation and holidays. Mostly hiring companies afford all of their expenses including visa fees and airfare and expenditure of annual or bi-annual visit to homeland.
In an estimate their salaries vary from 5,000 to 20,000 riyal easily, which increases with the passage of time, experience and opportunities.
“There is a constant demand of labourers and technical staff in different on-going projects in Saudi Arabia, which is witnessing heavy construction activities in billion dollars and years long projects,” Hanif Rinch, Chairman POEPA said.
The city of Makkah has created opportunities for millions of workers in Pakistan and different developing states to complete its massive projects by 2016, he said.
“The projects of Makkah are not largest projects of Kingdom Saudi Arabia but these are considered as world’s greater projects,” Rinch said and added “These include airports, skyscrapers, expanded buildings, bridges, roads, residential buildings and resorts and different large scales projects.”
The Saudi government has planned different economic, residential and knowledge cities which created business and employment opportunities for score of entrepreneurs and workers from different countries.
The government had projected expenditure of US $144 billion against revenue of $125 billion and has promised to allocate significant funds to transportation and utilities infrastructure. Some of the projects include King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) with estimated value of US $50 billion, Sudair City Development with estimated value of US $40 billion and Princess Noura bint Abdul Rahman University for Women in Riyadh with estimated expenses of US $11.5 billion.
POEPA chief said the laborer should be trained and skilled as per need of the market so that they could earn handsome wages and support countries significantly in terms of remittances.
He said the educated professionals such as doctors, engineers and teachers are playing a vital role in KSA, UAE and other markets because they earn money and repute handsomely and help Pakistan to improve its image and receive substantial foreign exchange.
The skilled and educated overseas Pakistani not only contributed well to the national economy but they also support other Pakistanis to get employed on their guarantee in Saudi.
There is a need to prepare a proper strategy at government level in collaboration with educational institutions to provide highly educated and well trained human resources to KSA to participate in the giant construction and economic activities of the world.
The private companies with the support of the government should also take part in development of KSA as entrepreneurs, which will not only aid our country to get huge foreign exchange but also provide a platform to improve our brotherly ties with Saudi Arabia.