Pakistan suggests amendment in MoU for UAE expats’ risk-free migration

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has suggested amendment in a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to ensure legal and risk-free migration of Pakistani manpower with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is likely to be signed next month.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfikar Bukhari has proposed three minor changes in Articles 3, 5 and 6 of the MoU dealing with remittances sending procedure and mechanism to resolve labour disputes.

The SAPM has handed over the amended draft to UAE Minister of Human Resources & Emiratisation Nasser Juma Al Hameli during a meeting the other day in UAE.

The official said that the amendments were aimed at easing the remittances’ sending process for the Pakistani labour and evolving a mechanism for early resolution of their disputes with employers by providing them legal assistance in this regard.

He said that Syed Zulfikar Bukhari also stressed for signing the MoU at the earliest to mitigate the suffering of Pakistani diasporas working abroad to feed their families back home and serve the country.

The UAE authorities assured the SAPM that the MoU would be signed soon after going through the proposition made by the Pakistani side, the official said.

During the meeting, Syed Zulfikar Bukhari informed the other side that Pakistan had developed a digital mechanism at its all protectorate offices which could be connected with UAE to ensure safe and legal migration of its outgoing manpower.

The sources said that the ministry could maintain and trace the record of its all outgoing workforce through installed biometric verification system at its all the centres.

Highlighting the SAPM’s endeavours for Pakistani expatriates during his recent visit to Dubai, they said, the minister also raised the issue of payment of labours’ salaries still due in certain cases.

To this, the UAE made a stance that their government had adopted a zero-tolerance policy against non-payment of salary for which it had evolved an elaborate mechanism.

Under the mechanism, the UAE minister said that a worker is given three choices in case of a dispute between employer and employee. First, the worker is asked to change his employer unless the issue was resolved and second, he is allowed to work with the same employer besides pursuing the case. Lastly, the worker is given an option to go back to his respective country and give power of attorney to someone else who could plead his case here.

It was also pointed out that workers sometimes did not comprehend the system due to low education or language issues.