SENDING WORKERS TO MALAYSIA THRU GOVT CHANNEL
BAIRA threatens to suspend manpower exportStaff Correspondent
Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies on Wednesday threatened to suspend manpower exports if the government does not involve them in sending workers to Malaysia and stop calling them ‘blood-suckers’ and ‘frauds’.
The association, better known as BAIRA, also alleged that the government was destabilising the sector by giving contradictory statements regarding the cost of sending workers to Malaysia, even before signing any memorandum of understanding.
BAIRA leaders also alleged that the expatriate welfare ministry and Bangladesh high commission in Kuala Lumpur were conducting a smear campaign against BAIRA and its members which, it said, put an adverse impact on manpower exports.
‘If the government does not consult the association before signing any memorandum with Malaysia and if the smear campaign against the BAIRA does not stop, we will immediately suspend sending manpower abroad,’ said the BAIRA president, Shahjalal Majumder, at a media briefing at Ruposhi Bangla hotel in the capital.
The BAIRA president sought the prime minister’s interventions to defuse the ‘stalemate developed in the manpower sector’.
Majumder alleged the ministry’s false propaganda against the BAIRA and its members has put an adverse impact on the manpower export sector.
‘The smear campaign has also tarnished the image of Bangladesh as well that made the Middle East countries unwilling to take workers from Bangladesh,’ the BAIRA president alleged.
On September 12, Dhaka and Kuala Lumpur decided to go for state arrangements for recruitment of Bangladeshi workers by Malaysia, putting aside the long involvement of private manpower agencies and brokers in the process.
While reading out a written statement, the BAIRA secretary general, Ali Haider Chowdhury, questioned the rationality of fixing Tk 50,000 as the cost of sending a single worker to Malaysia through the government channel.
‘If the Malaysian government as well as the employer in Malaysia bear the flight cost and necessary levies for recruiting manpower from Bangladesh, the cost of sending workers to Malaysia can in no way be more than Tk 20,000,’ Chowdhury added.
He also alleged that the expatriate welfare minister, Khandker Mosharraf Hossain, was making contradictory statements over the cost of sending workers to Malaysia.
He said though the minister has long been saying that the workers would be able to go to Malaysia at a cost of Tk 50,000, he recently told a newspaper that a worker’s travelling cost through the government’s legal channels to Malaysia should range from Tk 75,000 to Tk 80,000.
In reference to statement of the expatriates’ welfare minister that he would never sit with them, the BAIRA secretary general said that the obstinate mindset of the minister is the key reason behind the declining trend in manpower export.
As for the allegation of fraudulence and embezzlement of money by the unscrupulous recruiting agencies, Chowdhury said, the government can cancel the license of the respective recruiting agency if it is found guilty.
‘The question is how many licenses of the recruiting agencies have been cancelled by the government to date,’ he said.
He alleged the ministry took no initiatives to find new manpower markets as well as to extend the duration of VISA of the workers in Libya and in other countries, putting thousands of Bangladeshi workers in huge trouble abroad.
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