ISLAMABAD - The ongoing trend of the recruitment of skilled labour from Pakistan to abroad has witnessed an unprecedented rise in the last few years. A large number of unemployed yet skilled youth and manpower had been sent to Middle East, Gulf and several Asian countries, including China, Korea and Japan. Labour transportation among the states has enhanced the earning opportunities for the people and has brought prosperity to them and their families. However, some money-oriented elements have been exploiting the innocence of those people who intend to fly abroad for jobs, thus depriving them of their valuable and hard-earned money. Several sources have revealed that majority of visa consultants demand hundreds of thousands of rupees from common people, most of which are under privileged. In most cases, it has also been observed that after obtaining the money, the agents simply refuse to give visas to poor people. The Overseas Employment Corporation (OEC) is the autonomous body under the control of Ministry of Labour that is responsible for recruitment of skilled labour for abroad. The corporation is actively working since its formation in 1976. The Managing Director (MD) of the OEC, S.M Junaid, told 'TheNation' during an exclusive interview that the OEC has rendered valuable services to common people ever since its existence. "We are providing people a platform from where they can pursue their careers abroad at very nominal expenditure", he said. While providing the details of the net expenditure for several countries, he said that visa-processing charges for Korea are almost Rs 30,000 excluding air ticket fare. Almost same amount has to be spent for buying an air ticket that makes a net expenditure of almost Rs 60,000 rupees. The expenditure for other states is more or less the same. Mostly, the employer who is hiring the labour gives the air tickets. Ordinarily, the expenditure does not increase from Rs 30,000 to Rs 32,000. "We recruit the deserving candidates at very nominal charges that shows our transparency and competency", the MD added Further more, the Managing Director maintained that proficiency in Korean language is obligatory for all the interested candidates who intend to visit Korea. The first Korean language test was held in January this year as as a result, 250 candidates have already reached Korea. "11,000 candidates were tested on June 15, and 3,500 have been cleared on merit", said S.M Junaid. To a question regarding the political interference, he said, "Let me assure you, the OEC is an autonomous body and we work independently without being bothered by political elements". "Besides Korea and Middle East, we are going to focus on Australia and Eastern Europe including Romania and Poland", he declared. In addition to that, the MD blamed several visa agents who are charging hundreds of thousands of rupees from poor people. "Most of the visa consultants are making a lot of money in the name of OEC and are playing with the finances of innocent masses, they need to be checked and punished by the concerned authorities", he suggested Sources have revealed that several governmental officials, Member of National Assemblies, (MNA's) and Members of Provincial Assemblies (MPA's) are backing visa consultants to gain maximum from common masses, and are obtaining there shares from those agents. Recently, the son of a renowned Senator had been booked by the investigation agencies on the charges of issuing fake visas.