In continuation to the briefing provided by the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a follow-up meeting today at the Prime Minister Office with the aim to provide every possible facilitation to overseas Pakistanis and labor working abroad.
The meeting was attended by Special Assistant to PM on Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfiqar Bukhari, Special Assistant to PM on Media Mr. Iftikhar Durrani, Secretary to PM, Secretary Finance, Secretary Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, Chairman FBR, Chairman NADRA and other senior officials from Sate Bank of Pakistan, FIA and Civil Aviation Authority.
The Prime Minister emphasized that the PTI government is fully cognizant of the problems faced by Overseas Pakistanis in sending remittances and issues of retaining their legal properties in Pakistan while they are abroad earning a livelihood. The Prime Minister stated that the government is working on fast track basis to resolve their problems. He stated that overseas Pakistanis are an asset to the country and they can play a very important role in improving the financial condition through remittances. The Prime Minister directed all concerned departments to provide speedy mechanisms for ease of sending remittances through legal channels.
The Prime Minister directed Ministry of Finance, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), State Bank of Pakistan and NADRA to sit together and present a workable plan of removing hindrances in the remittances mechanism through e-solutions. It was also decided to bring legal reforms in the Civil and Criminal laws where illegal occupation is taken over the properties of overseas Pakistanis in the country. Establishment of special courts for these cases was also discussed.
The Prime Minister stated that labor belonging to lower financial class are already burdened by leaving their homeland and earning livelihood abroad in harsh conditions, therefore it is the responsibility of the Government to facilitate them and provide all necessary facilities and incentives for them and their families back home.
Various incentives including tax exemptions on remittances and several social welfare schemes were also discussed in the meeting.
The Prime Minister emphasized that strict action will be taken against illegal encroachers who occupy properties of overseas Pakistanis. In this regard directives will be issued to Provincial Governments and law enforcing agencies.
Following decisions were approved during the meeting for immediate implementation :-
•Connectivity between organisations of the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development and NADRA Database has been established to maintain a record of overseas Pakistanis and labour abroad.
•Biometric verification charges for labour going abroad has been reduced from Rs. 45 to Rs. 10 per verification.
•Family tree record of Pakistanis working abroad will be shared with Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development so that their families are provided with welfare benefits of health, education and accommodation.
•NICOP for emigrants and workers will be optional. Directions regarding clarification will be issued through newspaper advertisement. To bring further clarity, necessary legal amendment will also be initiated.
•Free of charge connectivity between Bureau of Emigration & Overseas Pakistanis and FIA has been established and it will be operational by 17th of October.
Prime Minister Imran Khan meets students from various districts and universities of Balochistan.
The Prime Minister interacted with the students and answered their questions.
Excerpts of the Prime Minister’s remarks are being forwarded please.