Shah­baz comes to res­cue of ex­pa­tri­ates

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS -

Do­ver­seas es­pite be­ing ma­jor con­trib­u­tors to the econ­omy, it is lam­en­ta­ble that

Pak­ista­nis have been fac­ing a host of prob­lems in­clud­ing grab­bing of their prop­er­ties back in their home­land. While we ap­pre­ci­ate Pun­jab Chief Min­is­ter Shah­baz Sharif for im­me­di­ately tak­ing no­tice of the sit­u­a­tion and or­der­ing es­tab­lish­ment of over­seas po­lice sta­tions for re­dres­sal of their com­plaints, the trend of grab­bing their prop­er­ties will only dis­cour­age the ex­pa­tri­ates to re­mit and more so in­vest their money in the coun­try.

These re­mit­tances, which over the years have wit­nessed growth has in fact helped the coun­try sup­port the bal­ance of pay­ments and re­duce trade deficit. These are pri­mar­ily sent by ex­pa­tri­ates to sup­port their fam­i­lies back home and not much of this in­flow is in­vested ex­cept in prop­er­ties. Given the mam­moth fig­ure of ex­pa­tri­ates work­ing in dif­fer­ent coun­tries es­pe­cially the Gulf, there is no doubt that these re­mit­tances can be dou­bled in no time if the govern­ment pro­vides an en­abling en­vi­ron­ment es­pe­cially to those Pak­ista­nis who want to in­vest in dif­fer­ent pro­duc­tive sec­tors of the econ­omy. For this the govern­ment needs to an­nounce spe­cial in­cen­tives be­sides open­ing one win­dow fa­cil­ity for them so that they can in­vest their money in any sec­tor of their choice with­out any hic­cup. There are many well off ex­pa­tri­ates who want to re­turn to the coun­try and in­vest in dif­fer­ent sec­tors but pre­vail­ing en­vi­ron­ment and cor­rupt sys­tem is dis­cour­ag­ing them from do­ing so. We urge both fed­eral and pro­vin­cial govern­ments to see the mat­ter in a wider per­spec­tive and cre­ate nec­es­sary pull fac­tors in or­der to at­tract in­vest­ment from ex­pa­tri­ates. This will not only help us ad­dress the prob­lem of un­em­ploy­ment but also re­duce our reliance on for­eign lenders. Be­sides, we will urge rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties to fo­cus more on train­ing of youth in dif­fer­ent tech­ni­cal skills to meet grow­ing de­mand of skilled and semi-skilled work force and in or­der to bol­ster our share in the Gulf coun­tries.


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