Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approved on Friday a compensation package of Rs500 million for families of Pakistani workers stranded in Saudi Arabia.
According to a statement, Rs50,000 will given to each affected family.
The premier has directed the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development to prepare authenticated lists of affected families and ensure the disbursement of cheques to them at the earliest.
Over 8,000 Pakistani migrant workers employed by two Saudi companies, Saad Trading and Contracting Company in Al Khobar and the Saudi Oger limited in Dammam have neither been paid nor have received their end-of-service benefits for at least two months with resident permits of many workers not renewed by the firms.
Most of these workers are in a fix since they do not have enough money to travel home, nor can they legally stay in Saudi Arabia because of which most are confined to company-owned camps in different parts of the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia is the top international destination for Pakistani migrant workers with as many as 4.3 million working there. The kingdom is also the single largest source of remittances for the country with workers sending back $5.9 billion from July 2015-June 2016.
According to the State Bank of Pakistan, remittances in June 2016 rose to $582.84 million, up from $536.68 million the year before.
Pakistanis migrant workers are not the only ones stranded in Saudi Arabia without pay or their permits being renewed. About 20,000 Filipinos and 10,000 Indian migrant workers were also stranded in the kingdom with some forced to beg or sift through garbage to survive.