The Financial Express

61,416 Bangladeshi expatriates exit KSA since 2018

| Updated: January 21, 2022 13:10:52

- File photo - File photo

An estimated 1.05-million migrant workers, including Bangladeshis, have left Saudi Arabia mainly due to the enforcement of expat fee (stay permission) since 2018, Saudi media and officials say.

The Bangladesh consulate general in Jeddah shows that at least 61,416 Bangladeshis have departed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) for home during the period.

In a letter to expatriates welfare ministry, it says the number of foreign workers has been declining in the Arab country because of its Saudisation policy.

Such downtrend will continue in the coming days, according to the consulate office.

The Bangladesh mission has kept a close eye on this issue, it says.

Citing a government report, the Gulf News on Wednesday reported that this figure (1.05 million) represents 10.12 per cent of the total foreign workforce.

They exited the market during a period of 45 months starting from the beginning of 2018 until the end of the third quarter of 2021, it said.

The big exit of foreigners was attributed mainly to the implementation of expat fee that started in 2018, according to the report.

The monthly amount of expat fee was SR400 per employee during 2018 and was raised to SR600 in 2019 and SR800 since 2020.

The number of non-Saudi workers stood at around 10.42 million at the end of 2017 before the imposition of expat fee.

However, this figure started decreasing year on year reaching about 9.36 million by the end of the third quarter of 2021.

During the period, the number of Saudi male and female workers jumped by 5.66 per cent with an increase of 179,000 male and female citizens, bringing the total number of Saudi workers to 3.34 million, compared to 3.16 million at the end of 2017.

The number of Saudi men and women, subject to the rules and regulations of social insurance after joining the General Organisation for Social Insurance, jumped by 7.73 per cent during the period in question.

More than 153,000 male and female Saudi employees got access to the insurance database, bringing the total number of workers to about 2.14 million.

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