Three-month moratorium on layoffs for Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia
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In a major breakthrough, Saudi Arabia on Tuesday announced that no company or organisation will lay off the Pakistani nationals working in the Kingdom during the next three months, different media outlets reported.
It also said that they would get their salaries and other benefits for the said period, as Zulfi Bukhari – Special Assistant to the PM for Overseas Pakistanis – called Saudi Minister for Human Resources and Social Development Ahmad bin Salman Al Rajhi.
The Saudi minister also said full cooperation would be extended to the Pakistani labourers who were also dismissed from service earlier since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Efforts would be made to ensure that they get their dues, he said, after Zulfi requested him to look into the matter.
The Saudi government also agreed to extend entry and exit visas of Pakistanis till December 2020.
The latest development came after the reports of large-scale layoffs in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states amid the lockdown which has paralysed the global economy.
The situation has been further complicated for the Gulf states by the record slump in oil prices, which is the basic source of their revenue.
Meanwhile, the Pakistani nationals would be allowed to transfer money through STC Pay –a secure digital wallet in the form of a smartphone app that empowers an individual or a business to take full control of finances.
The two sides also agreed that further discussions would be held for starting flight operations to bring back the Pakistanis who want to return home.
Bukhari thanked the Saudi minister for his cooperation and vowed to strengthen the existing ties between the two brotherly countries.