The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is somewhat concerned about the economy of the country if overseas Pakistanis start coming back. This indicates to have policies for the forced repatriates.
While the short-to-medium-term focus seems appropriate given the abruptness of the Covid-19 crisis, the government must also frame a long-term view and adopt a comprehensive national migration policy,State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)
The current policy does not have any strong action plan to tackle the problems of overseas workers if they were to start returning back, forcefully.
Before the pandemic period, over 100,000 Pakistanis were in the process to get overseas jobs. That was all disrupted due to Covid-19 and it is unclear when that process would revive.
Around 50,000 Pakistani migrants faced layoffs in different countries. These jobs may not be recovered in the short term and are thus extremely vulnerable,
According to the data by the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment (BEOE), around 60,000 Pakistanis were recruited for overseas jobs. The BEOE categorizes these jobs as extremely vulnerable.
In addition to this, 50,000 overseas Pakistanis returned on paid or unpaid leaves as of June this year. Although they have not been laid off, their job is at risk.
It is estimated that out of the total overseas Pakistanis working in the Gulf region, 91% of them are employed in the UAE and KSA.
During April-June, PIA had recorded 90,308 Pakistanis returning from abroad.
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) further said:
Now, with the Covid-19 crisis, the demand contraction and a dull crude oil market have further weakened the economic outlook of oil-exporting economies. Under such circumstances, a complete return to pre-Covid migrant employment levels does not appear in sight, at least over the next two years,
Some countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Mexico, and Sri Lanka are now working on policies for returning workers.
Pakistan also needs to have such policies to assist the forced repatriates in the form of financial support, entrepreneurship facilitation, skill up-gradation, and job resumption.
The report further highlighted:
As per the International Labour Organization (ILO) assessment, such operations in Pakistan currently face multiple challenges, such as the absence of properly designed systems, weak standard operating procedures, inadequately trained assigned staff, and coordination weaknesses among different departments,