Mudasar, a young Pakistani adept at graphic designing, left for the UAE a couple of years ago and resided in Sharjah with his family having gotten assurances from his boss in the UAE that his job is stable and there is no need for any sort of perturbation. His confidence inflated in the wake of adulation received for his work acumen. To undergo a tantalizing foreign experience, he concurred to work in the UAE for a relatively trivial amount vis-à-vis the enormous salary he used to get in Pakistan. He was unable to save substantial amount since his salary was not hefty, however, he was always on his toes and deemed his job as a stepping stone for his career growth in a foreign country. He is back to Pakistan nowadays like hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis who lost their jobs by virtue of the pandemic. He feels it as a grave mistake to quit a stable job in Pakistan for the sake of foreign experience and in the hope of monumental amount in the long run. He has been back to Pakistan for last couple of months and is one of the job seekers in vain.
The instant Qurat-ul-Ain got her post-graduation degree two years ago, she was married to a Dubai-based Pakistani. She quit Pakistan and settled in Dubai with plenty of dreams for a prosperous future. Her spouse lost the job a year ago which compelled her to come back to Pakistan along with an infant. She has been staying in Pakistan at her parents’ abode ever since she returned to Pakistan and her spouse has been traveling back and forth in search of a job in the UAE. Both the young individuals are filled with dismay because of uncertainty. Employment no longer seems lucrative in foreign countries for numerous skilled workers. Job market saturation coupled with the precedence given to the natives has wreaked havoc.
There is no denying the fact that over 11 million Pakistani diaspora could be crucial in terms of underpinning the economic growth of Pakistan. The flow of remittances has been phenomenal recently. Pakistan could receive up to $25 billion through foreign remittances, which could be a gigantic move for the sagging economy of Pakistan. The government has taken some tremendous initiatives to lure foreign investment and the flow of dollars to Pakistan. Pakistan is in dire need of foreign exchange inflows at this juncture.
The wherewithal received through the Roshan Digital Accounts has been rather encouraging with $400 million within four months. 11 million overseas Pakistanis could benefit from this lucrative offer by the government since returns are enormous vis-à-vis the avenues available to them in their respective countries of residence. The glitch is whether the Pakistani diaspora is able to contribute as is being anticipated. Majority of Pakistani diaspora are blue collar workers with almost no education. Such workers earn trivial amount and do not believe in official channels for remitting their amount. The primary source of such workers is the acquaintances who are entrusted with money and luggage to get to their loved ones. RDA (Roshan Digital Account) could become more effective provided that the embassies and consulates take it as a challenge and educate the Pakistani diaspora. By and large, Pakistani diaspora are of the opinion that the embassies and consulates are not as effective and that of other countries. The Pakistani diaspora generally speak with dismay when asked about the redressal of their grievances through respective embassies or consulates.
RDA is an opportunity which every overseas Pakistani must avail in the wake of returns on investment, various facilities and last but not least the ease of transfer of money. The government must ensure that the Pakistani diaspora get timely information regarding investment in the equity market, which might be of core interest to the non-resident Pakistanis. Day trading could get the investors hefty returns, with strings attached, which otherwise do not seem likely. Capital market of Pakistan has been adored by not only the locals but also by the foreigners over the period of time, with some exceptions. RDAs could be deemed a success story at this juncture since over 80,000 accounts have been opened, however, it would transpire in a year or two how much interest do the Pakistani diaspora take in the RDAs though the returns are enormous.
The world is undergoing a metamorphosis at the moment and the new normal might call for some drastic changes in myriad of countries where Pakistanis are living. No one knows what future holds for us, however, it is for sure that one returns to one’s dear homeland at the end of the day. This pent-up feeling might prompt Pakistani diaspora to invest in Pakistan.