7 labour wings to be opened at missions in six countries
More than Tk 10 crore sought for operation
The government will open seven more new labour wings at missions in six countries to provide more facilities to the Bangladeshi expatriate workers in those countries, official sources said.
The establishment ministry has approved a proposal of the ministry of expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment for opening the seven new labour wings which was also earlier approved by the cabinet about two months back.
The proposal is now waiting for the finance ministry’s approval as the expatriates’ welfare ministry has sought more than Tk 10 crore a year for the maintenance of those seven new labour wings.
Source in the expatriates’ welfare ministry said that countries where the labour wings are likely to be set up are Malaysia, Japan, Jordan, Italy, Sudan and Saudi Arabia.
Officials of the ministry said that the government would open another labour wing in Malaysia and two other labour wings would be opened in Bangladesh’s biggest labour market in Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah and Riyadh.
The officials also said that the yearly cost of operation of each labour wing would be between Tk. one and Tk one and a half crore.
The Bangladesh government has recently opened a labour wing in the war-ravaged Iraq.
Expatriates welfare ministry’s secretary Zafar Ahmed Khan told reporters on Tuesday that Bangladeshi workers would get legal assistance from the proposed labour wings in the six countries.
Zafar said though the expatriate Bangladeshis’ official remittance is some 12 percent of the gross domestic product, the government investment is very little for them.
He also said soon after approval of the proposal from the finance ministry, the labour wings would be set up.
At present, only 13 labour wings are operating in different countries across the world.
Last year, the amount of money sent by the migrants was $10.72 billion. It is estimated that almost the same amount comes through unofficial channels every year.
Currently, Bangladesh has about 65 lakh people working in some 100 countries across the world who are sending remittances.
Around 35,000 Bangla-deshi workers go abroad every year. Bangladesh exports a high percentage, 57 per cent, of unskilled workers. But there is a large number of skilled and semi-skilled Bangladeshis working abroad.