ISLAMABAD - The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Tuesday asked the government not to over-rely on the overseas remittances as it may continue to fall due to changing global scenario. The government should focus on exporting skilled workers and find new markets as conventional markets are becoming crowded with cheap labour from India, Bangladesh and some other countries, it said.

Some nations are not happy with Pakistan’s positive role in the recent problem among GCC countries and Qatar while UAE has increased import of workers from India to boost relations, said Atif Ikram Sheikh, chairman FPCCI Regional Committee on Industries. Pakistan receives 63 percent of the remittances or 12.1 billion dollars from GCC countries but over-reliance on this sources in not in the national interest, he added.

Atif Ikram Sheikh said that our country receives 28 percent of the remittances from Saudi Arabia which is reducing reliance on oil income, employing locals in the transport sector and diversifying economy which should be noticed.

He said that KSA has also slapped a tax on the non-earning members of the families of the expatriates which has a discouraging effect. Pakistan used to export 38 thousand workers to Saudi Arabia in one month during 2016 while the number fell to 13 thousand last year.

The business leader said our government should focus on exporting skilled workers, engineers, doctors and IT experts etc to the countries lacking this resource.