Workers stand in line to enter Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka yesterday, before flying to Malaysia for jobs. Ninety workers left for Kuala Lumpur under a government-to-government agreement. Photo: Star
The government will allow the private recruiting agencies to send workers abroad only if they bring down the migration costs, said Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain yesterday.
“The recruiting agencies can send thousands of workers abroad, but many of them end up in terrible miseries, as they fail to recover their migration costs during their contract period and are forced to stay illegally,” he told a programme in the capital.
The minister alleged that many manpower importers including Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait had stopped hiring Bangladeshis due to the agencies' "visa trading"--charging excessive prices for visas and selling one visa to many.
"As a consequence of the visa trading, around 2.68 lakh Bangladeshi workers became illegal before the Malaysian government regularised them last year," he said, addressing an orientation programme at Askona Hajj Camp for 90 Bangladeshis who left for Malaysia from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport yesterday.
Another 82 workers will fly to Malaysia today, said Mizanur Rahman Director (Employment) of the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET).
In April, the government sent 198 Bangladeshi workers to Malaysia for the first time under state arrangements. With this new batch of 172, the total of number of workers to be sent to Malaysia by the government rises to 370. All of them are hired for plantation jobs.
These workers are migrating to Malaysia spending only Tk 33,178 while the private agencies used to charge them Tk 2 lakh to 2.8 lakh each earlier.
Mosharraf said, “No agency can rip off the jobseekers through overcharging them anymore, as the government is committed to containing irregularities in the manpower sector.”
In January, around 15 lakh job aspirants registered online to go to Malaysia under state arrangements. Of them, 10,000 were selected and given technical training. They will be sent to Malaysia whenever the work visas are available, said officials.