ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders on Tuesday said exports continue to fall while foreign investment has dried therefore government should promote overseas employment.

Honesty overseas employment promoters should be given all the facilities while those involved in illegal practices and human smuggling should be penalised, it said.

The employment promoters getting illegal fees and using negative tactics to extract money out of workers should not be allowed to play with the labour and defame country, said Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt.

He said that low-skilled workers with modest education and limited assets seeking jobs abroad are exploited which is illegal therefore all the concerned ministry and departments should be made effective so that they can play their role in national development.

He said that alarmingly high cost of migration for low-skilled workers is hurting the market as benefits associated with overseas migration of low-skilled workers are eaten up in visa fee paid to intermediaries.

If there is a fair system operating, it may help low-skilled workers in pulling their families out of poverty, sending their children to school and building their asset base and will lead to significant and sustained growth of income in future.

More than 80 per cent of reported migration cost is spent on visa fee, going to people who helps the migrant in securing a job.

Improving the system does not require more rules and regulations or a greater role of the government or stricter and higher penalties. What is needed is measures that will help the existing institutions function better.