Ali Saad Al-Musa | Al-Watan, email@example.com
Tuesday 8 September 2009
Last Update 8 September 2009 12:00 am
Some headlines in our local newspapers are passed over casually; had they appeared in papers in other countries they would have caused perilous social volcanoes.
A headline in one of our local newspapers recently quoted economic and banking sources as estimating the remittances of foreign workers in Saudi Arabia to be SR660 billion over the past decade.
The same sources expected the remittances through illegal means to jump to SR1.2 trillion.
The size of the transfers made by the expatriate laborers during the last nine months of the year 2009 reached SR89.4 billion with an increase of 14 percent over the remittances for the same period in 2008. This increase in the volume of transfers comes in the midst of the world financial crisis that has caused the bankruptcy of a number of banks and the collapse of manufacturing units. A number of countries and organizations have disappeared from the global economic map as a result of this crisis. While all this is happening around us, we are increasing the remittances made by the foreign manpower through legal and illegal channels.
According to the financial analysis in the same newspaper, Saudi Arabia tops the world in financial transfers. This is another achievement that can be added to our honorary list of “we are the first,” “we are the largest,” etc.
I am requesting two things:
1) The brothers in the mathematics sections should divide the amount of transfers against the number of foreign workers staying in our country legally or illegally.
The result will show us the laborer who came here on a contract to be paid SR800 would now be adding a zero to this figure, making it SR8,000.
2) We should admit this fact to our unemployed youths who are now more than 200,000.
This market, which allowed foreigners to transfer SR1.2 trillion, was not able to find job opportunities for unemployed youths over the past 20 years. This is an ethical defeat of our private sector.
According to the financial analysis, the remittances of the foreigners in a month are more than the salaries of all the government employees put together in a month. The remittances in one year are more than half the budget of the state. Their monthly transfers are more than the annual budgets of some countries.
I am writing about this while Humaidan, a Saudi youth, has entered his fourth year of unemployment.