- Unregistered middlemen will be punished if involved with any transaction to migrant aspirant
- The family of deceased unregistered migrants to get Tk3 lakh amid pandemic
- Parliamentary committee to sit with Biman to ease migrant fly
The government has suspended the licences of 204 recruiting agencies across the country as allegations of irregularities and corruption have been proven against them. Also, in 2019, the government had suspended the licenses of 163 recruiting agencies on the same grounds.
The information was disclosed during the 10th meeting of the Standing Committee on Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment on Thursday, chaired by Anisul Islam Mahmud, chairman of the committee.
Also, unregistered persons/ institutions will be penalized if any person other than the registered person/ institution is involved in any transactions with the expatriate workers, or if the expatriates are harassed in any way.
DM Atiqur Rahman, director (Employment), Bangladesh Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training, said, "We have sent a list of recruiting agencies in the expat ministry, a month ago, who are not abiding by the rules and regulations."
We suggested that they cancel their registration, he added.
Now, it is up to the ministry to take the decision if the registration will be cancelled or not, he further said, adding, "Halting the licence is the first step of cancelling the registration."
During the meeting, Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira) representatives discussed the registration of agents/sub-agents (appointed by Baira) to recruit expatriate workers to ensure orderly, safe, regular, and responsible migration.
According to the Wage Earners' Welfare Board policy, only the families of legal and registered migrant workers were entitled to get compensation of Tk3 lakh. Now, taking into consideration the Covid-19 epidemic, a decision has been taken, in principle, to assist the families of illegal/unregistered deceased migrants with the same amount.
The meeting also discussed various plans to extend the visa period, increase the number of flights, and provide financial assistance to returnee migrants amidst the pandemic.
To make it easier for the workers to go overseas, it was decided to hold necessary discussions with Bangladesh Biman during the next meeting.
Shameem Ahmed Chowdhury Noman, secretary general of Baira, told The Business Standard, "The committee recommends that the government hold middlemen accountable. Now many middlemen are working without any registration."
We also proposed making the ticket prices reasonable for our stranded migrant workers amidst the pandemic, he added.
According to Baira, more than one lakh Bangladeshi migrants got stranded in the country when flights were suspended during the pandemic, and around 80% of them are Saudi-bound workers.
Many of their visas expired on 30 September. However, the Saudi authority has extended the validity until 31 October.
Imran Ahmad, minister for expatriate welfare and overseas employment, committee member, Prof Md Ali Ashraf, and Md Sadeq Khan, among others, attended the meeting.