Saudi Arabia no more a good work destination for Pakistanis

Islamabad, Aug 16, IRNA – Latest data from Pakistan’s Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment shows that manpower export to Saudi Arabia in the first six months of 2017 was just 17 percent of the total workers who went to the kingdom in entire 2016.

According to the data, Pakistan exported 77,600 workers in January-June to Saudi Arabia as compared to 462,598 workers in entire 2016.

The drastic decrease can adversely impact remittances, which registered a year-on-year decline in 2016-17 after 13 years of growth. Inflows from Saudi Arabia during the last fiscal year dropped 8.3pc.

This is alarming for the country that is already engulfed in a political crisis while its exports have been declining for the last four years.

Last year many Pakistanis returned home as the Saudi companies did not pay their salaries for more than six months.

Pakistani workers based in Saudi Arabia sent home $5.4bn, which was more than 28pc of total remittances that the country received in 2016-17.

Overseas workers have started coming back to Pakistan after losing their jobs in different Arab countries. With mounting economic pressure, the Arab countries are trying to provide the maximum number of jobs to Arabs.

No official data is available for returning overseas workers.

But sources claim that about 260,000 Pakistani workers returned home during the last couple of years.