Islamabad—The Federal Ombudsman Mr. M. Salman Faruqui has desired that the Bureau of Emigration & Overseas Employment should complete the work of automation within the organization during the current year.
In this regard a meeting was convened in the Ombudsman Secretariat under the chair of Hafiz Ahsaan Ahmad Khokhar, Senior Advisor (Law)/Grievance Commissioner for Overseas Pakistanis and Mr. Zafarullah Khan, Adviser.
Hafiz Ahsaan Ahmad Khokhar Senior adviser and Grievance Commissioner for overseas Pakistanis pointed out that a team work of all relevant department is required to expedite the automation process for overseas Pakistanis workers in a timely manner so as to benefit emigrant Pakistanis with the opportunities that become available for utilizing Pakistani talents abroad and to earn precious foreign exchange for the country. The meeting was attended by the representatives of Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Finance, State Bank of Pakistan, OPF, Bureau of Emigration & Overseas Employment,and Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis.
The Director General, Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment informed the chair that the PC-1 for automation of the work of the Bureau and its regional offices (Protectorates) is almost complete and will be submitted to Ministry for overseas in next week. He informed that after automation 13 data fields out of 36 data field boxes presently manually filled in by Pakistanis seeking employment abroad would be filled in automatically.He also appreciated the efforts of federal ombudsman for issuing of instructions for automation within the organization which is need of time. Hafiz Ahsaan Ahmed Khokhar Senior Advisor Law and Grievance commissioner for overseas Pakistanis to federal ombudsman Pakistan observed that the DG, BE & OE should finalize all issues of automation with the concerned government agencies within seven (7) days and to also approach Passports depart for sharing the data information of overseas Pakistanis workers related to their departure and arrival so exact numbers should come on surface and the copy of the reference may also be endorsed to the WMS so as to coordinate and expedite formal approval required for implementing the automation process.
The meeting was informed that at present Pakistani nationals seeking employment abroad have to deposit fees in 3 separate banks/accounts to cover OPF/State Life Insurance Corporation/BE&OE dues and there is need to put efforts to centralize all such deposits are being made with the National Bank of Pakistan. Hafiz Ahsaan ahmad Khokhar senior adviser and Grievance commissioner for overseas Pakistanis to federal ombudsman emphasized that strategy should be designed by all relevant departments that Foreign Exchange Remittance Card (FERC) should be issued along with NICOP and to make further strategy that life insurance cover should be increased from two years to five years to facilitate the Overseas Pakistanis and in this regard a meeting should be arranged at Finace mind try of all relevant departments. Hafiz Ahsaan ahmad Khokhar senior adviser and Grievance commissioner for overseas Pakistanis to federal ombudsman Pakistan said that every year millions of Pakistanis are going abroad for jobs and they send their remittance from different channels therefore, with joint efforts of all the concerned departments, these Overseas Pakistanis should be instigated to send their remittance through banking systems, Therefore , strategy be made for easy opening of overseas workers bank account before their departure and should include the services of on-line as well as ATM payments. He directed that for this purpose that the Bureau shall take on board all stakeholders snd submit compliance repot. Hafiz Ahsaan Ahmad Khokhar also directed OPF and Bureau to contact with PTA for the establishment of a dedicated help line for Pakistanis seeking employment abroad.
Hafiz Ahsaan Ahmad Khokhar Senior adviser and Grievance commissioner for overseas Pakistanis also desired that Ministry of Finance to consider changes in the procedure regarding Foreign Exchange Remittance Card (FERC) and allow issuance of card along with NICOP without any limit of remittance, which is now $2500 and then State Bank of Pakistan will accordingly issue the instructions to all scheduled banks to open an “Asan Account” on production of FERC, within 24 hours to facilitate overseas Pakistanis workers . Mr. khokhar added by taking these steps the problems of millions of overseas Pakistanis workers will be resolved within shortest possible time at the departmental level and it will also increase the pace of home remittances through proper channels and the same time will provide a mechanism for early issuance of NICOP, opening of bank accounts, finalization of insurance and Protectors issues. The next meeting on the subject will be held in the next month and in the meanwhile all agencies.