Joint body to monitor situation
Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia have agreed to set up a joint working group to supervise the issues regarding recruitment and welfare of Bangladeshi workers.
The official-level working group comprised of members of the relevant ministries of the two countries will take stock of the situation periodically and find out remedial approach, according to a release issued yesterday by the expatriates' welfare ministry.
The two sides also agreed that a Saudi delegation led by its labour minister would soon visit Bangladesh to see for themselves the measures put in place and explore possibilities of cooperation.
The decision was reached during a recent visit to the Arab state by a Bangladeshi delegation led by Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain.
The six-member delegation had meetings with Saudi Labour Minister Adel Fakeih, Governor of Riyadh Prince Sattam Bin Abdul Aziz and Deputy Minister for Interior Dr Ahmad Alsalim.
Saudi Arabia remains the largest labour importer from Bangladesh employing over two million workers. However, it significantly cut the recruitment since 2009.
Besides, the kingdom has also stopped allowing Bangladeshis transfer their jobs from one company to another, landing many of them in trouble.
During the meeting -- the first in three years -- with Adel Fakeih, Mosharraf informed him that Bangladesh has adopted measures for electronic registration of the jobseekers and sending them abroad on better terms.
Appreciating the contribution of the Bangladeshi workforce, Saudi Deputy Interior Minister Dr Ahmad Alsalim, however, noted that a few of them are indulging in some “legally and socially unacceptable activities.”
The Bangladeshi minister hoped the two countries would soon embark on a new vista of cooperation with the establishment of the joint working group.
The Bangladesh delegation is due home tomorrow.