Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said that her government has decided to provide Tk3 lakh for the rehabilitation of the families of all registered and unregistered migrant workers who died in the Covid-19 pandemic.
The PM made the remark while replying to a question from Awami League MP Benjir Ahmed (Dhaka-20) in parliament on Wednesday.
Besides, the families of expatriate workers who lost their jobs due to the virus will be given loans on easy terms, reports Jugantor.
"We have already approved an allocation of Tk500 crore in favor of Probashi Kallyan Bank to provide easy loans to expats who have lost their jobs due to the virus or for any other reason", said the PM.
"We have set up a fund of Tk200 crore from the Wage Earners Welfare Board to provide low interest and easy term loans to the workers returning from abroad due to coronavirus, and to eligible family members of deceased workers over Covid-19, " the prime minister said.
"These loans will be distributed through Probashi Kallyan Bank. Policies over this have already been formulated."
Sheikh Hasina said that her government has continued diplomatic activities through Bangladesh embassies abroad so that Bangladeshi workers who lost their jobs in different countries due to the Covid-19 pandemic can be re-employed in the post-pandemic period.
Meanwhile, we have distributed medicines, relief and emergency services worth around Tk11 crore among distressed and unemployed expatriate workers through the Labour Welfare Officers in Bangladesh missions abroad, she added.
The PM said that there is diplomatic pressure on Bangladesh to bring back Bangladeshi expatriate workers from Middle Eastern countries. However, the government has taken multifaceted diplomatic initiatives to tackle the situation.
The prime minister said she sent letters to some heads of governments as part of the diplomatic efforts.
"Only 22,000 expatriate workers have returned home so far, while millions of migrant workers have returned in our neighboring countries. The number of the returnees is still low as the government took timely diplomatic initiatives," the premier said.
In addition, an initiative has been taken to set up a 'Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund' for expatriates to retain jobs abroad, join new professions, be employed in agriculture and develop as entrepreneurs. She said the fund would be similar to the Climate Trust Fund and the Climate Resilience Fund.