Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad on Sunday said the government has set a target to send 750,000 workers aboard in the ‘Mujib Year’.
“Skilled workers will be sent in newer labour markets abroad in the Mujib Year,” he told a ‘Meet the Press’ on “The government’s Labour Market Plan in the New Year” arranged by Reporters for Bangladeshi Migrants (RBM) at the ministry conference room in Dhaka.
Secretary of the ministry Md Salim Reza and Additional Secretary Ahmed Manirus Salehin, RBM President Firoj Manna and General Secretary Masudul Haque, among others, addressed the function.
About the government’s measures for the safety of Bangladeshi expatriate workers during the current spate of tension in the Middle East, the minister said they will hold a discussion with the foreign secretary tomorrow (Monday) to this end.
Imran said the government started sending workers in Cambodia, Herzegovina, Romania, Hungary, Poland and China and it has a plan to send workers in newer countries this year.
He said initiatives have been taken to reopen the labour market for Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The minister said the government has taken an initiative to send 100,000 trained drivers abroad.
Works are going on to set up training centers in skill development in 41 upazilas and another project has been taken to set up training centers in 60 other upazilas, he added.
Salim Reza said around 701,000 workers were sent abroad in 2019 and of them, 1,11,000 were women. Among the women workers, 50 per cent were widows and divorcees, he added.
The secretary said steps have been taken against 172 recruiting agencies accused of irregularities and allegations.
He said remittance hit an all-time high of over $18.0 billion in 2019 which is 16.2 per cent higher than previous year.
The government announced 2 per cent incentive for the expatriate community from financial year 2019-20, in an effort to encourage more foreign remittance into the country, he said.
The secretary hoped the remittance would exceed $ 20 billion in the current fiscal.