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Minimum wage set for Pakistani workers in UAE

Khaleej Times logo Khaleej Times 06/12/2018 Asma Ali Zain
Minimum wage set for Pakistani workers in UAE © Provided by Khaleej Times Minimum wage set for Pakistani workers in UAE

A minimum wage of Dh800 has been established for Pakistani workers, along with benefits, and their labour contracts will be processed in the UAE only once these conditions are met, said the Pakistan Ambassador to the UAE, Moazzam Ahmad Khan.

He was speaking to the community at an event hosted in honour of Pakistan's National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser at the Pakistan Consulate on Wednesday evening. "The minimum wage requirement has been in place for over a year and this has been done to stop exploitation of labour who sometimes work at very low wages," he said, adding that the Pakistan government had approved the requirement.

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The UAE's wage policies, however, do not interfere with fixing minimum wages for any country as the UAE's policies enable a flexible labour market where wages are fixed through negotiation between employers and employees.

Along with a salary of Dh800, Pakistani workers will also be given accommodation, food and covered by medical insurance as per UAE law and only then will their job contracts be processed for the UAE by the Pakistani government and missions. "We have also made sure to do away with companies asking for key money," he said.

Talking about the ongoing amnesty, the ambassador said that nearly 500 people had been given air tickets to fly back home, while others had also been given financial help to regularize their status.

The ambassador also mentioned that the number of charity-based Pakistani schools needed to be increased from the current seven. "We hope the government can support us in this. The number of children wanting subsidized education is more than these schools can accommodate," he said.

Khan said response to the Prime Minister Imran Khan's Citizen Portal has been good. "Me and the Consul General personally look into the complaints lodged through the portal and on Facebook and then forward them for action to the correct officers," he said. He also mentioned that a request had been sent to the UAE government on raising funds for the dam.

Asad Qaiser, who stopped in Dubai briefly, while on his way to Iran for a five-country speakers' meet, said that the government wants good relations with the UAE and also with the Pakistani community in the UAE.

"This is my first visit (unofficial) to the UAE after being elected and I want to tell the community members here that we are doing all to recognize your contribution to Pakistan," he said while addressing the gathering.

"I have asked the ambassador to prepare a complete package and proposal of what the problems the community faces in the UAE and forward it to me so that it can be taken up with the prime minister for action," he said.

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He said that capacity building needed to be done to improve the economy and overseas Pakistanis play an important role in that.

"I will come back to the UAE again in January and will have some solutions as well," he said.

On a question from a community member with regard to development works in Kurram Agency, Qaiser said that the government had special development packages for the tribal areas including scholarships, jobs and health cards for all residents.

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