OVERSEAS Pakistanis play a vital role in Pakistan’s economic growth. That is why the prime minister has laid emphasis on home remittances. However, there is no incentive for home remittances, so far.
There is no difference between earning in Pakistan and sending home remittances, involving many hardships, especially home sickness. Their families bear the agony of living without their loved ones for years and meet occasionally.
On returning home on short vacations after years, they receive no incentive in Pakistan. While Sehat Sahulat cards and medical insurance cards are being awarded to Pakistanis at home, overseas Pakistanis and their family dependents are deprived of it, although they are one step ahead in building the economy.
Instead, their home remittances are subject to withholding tax.
Moreover, all overseas Pakistanis on their return to Pakistan for good do not receive any pension and remain jobless. They get no pension from overseas employers or from the EOBI.
Overseas Pakistanis accumulate savings by minimising their expenses to build a small house in Pakistan, which they can only dream of by living in Pakistan.
The prime minister and the ministry of overseas Pakistanis should consider some incentives to overseas Pakistanis and their dependents, especially the provision of health insurance and EOBI pensions.
Hasan Adil Malik
Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2020