The number of flights to and from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) will be increased to 20 per week from Thursday, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said on Wednesday.
He also said during the Covid period 107 thousand Bangladeshi workers returned home from the Middle East which is much fewer compared to the apprehension by a section that around 1.5 million workers would be sent back home.
Talking to the newsmen after a meeting with the envoys of Gulf countries and Malaysia in the city, the minister said out of these 20 flights,10 will be operated by Bangladesh Biman.
The minister said that the increase in flight numbers will pave the way for the quick return of Bangladeshi workers, who remain stranded here due to Covid pandemic, to that country.
Expatriate Welfare Minister Imran Chowdhury was also present in the meeting with the envoys, which was held to resolve problems of the Bangladeshi workers in those countries.
The foreign minister, however, said that if any migrant worker do not have the valid employment documents, he cannot go back to Saudi Arabia.
The visas, issued to 25,000 Bangladeshi workers in March this year, will be renewed. But if any of them lost their jobs in Saudi Arabia, he or she can’t be able to go back.
Responding to a question, he said that government has nothing to do in sending a Bangladeshi workers back to Saudi Arabia if anybody loses job there.
In such cases they should contact their employers personally to get back the job or to seek job in another company there because without employment, a worker can’t re- enter Saudi Arabia.
He urged the stranded workers not to stage demonstrations in unruly manner saying that it would further affect their job prospect in abroad.
We are trying to persuade the governments of the host countries to reinstate our workers, he added.
He also said that those who became jobless can avail loan from the government fund to start business.
In total TK 7.0 billion was allocated for this fund and if necessary the amount will be increased, Expatriate Welfare Minister Imran Ahmed added.