Staff Correspondent: The chairman of the Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) standing committee, Dr. Mohammed Faruque complained that in the past, the entire process of sending manpower to Malaysia was in the hands of only 10 companies. Their corruption and irregularities made the Malaysian government stop taking workers from Bangladesh at one stage. Now the same clique is maneuvering to send migrant workers to the country through 25 companies.
Before the Covid epidemic, the average fare of a plane ticket from Bangladesh to the Middle East was Tk 50,000 which now has been doubled to over a lakh. Migrant workers are suffering due to high ticket prices, so are the manpower exporters. The syndicate is responsible for this price increase.
The manpower exporters made the complaint at the first meeting of the FBCCI’s Standing Committee on Manpower and Skill Development on Wednesday. They said the syndicate wanted to streamline the process of sending workers to Malaysia, just like air tickets in the Middle East. On December 19, a memorandum of understanding was signed at the ministerial level of the two countries to send workers from Bangladesh to Malaysia. Standard Operating Procedures-SOPs are to be formulated soon.
At the meeting, other members of the standing committee also expressed their concerns about the syndicate in the manpower sector. Citing the examples of Nepal, India, Pakistan; they said, each country is exporting manpower to Malaysia through more than one and a half thousand recruiting agents. Therefore, there is no reason to limit the numbers of agents in Bangladesh.
The manpower exporters demanded the inclusion of a nominated member of the FBCCI in the meeting of the Malaysia-Bangladesh Joint Working Committee to break up the syndicate in this sector. Also discussed were amendments to the Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act, raising the incentive rate on remittances from 2 percent to 3 percent.
The FBCCI’s Standing Committee on Manpower and Skill Development has decided to inform the concerned ministries and the Prime Minister’s Office, about the existing problems in the manpower export sector through the FBCCI.
FBCCI Vice-President and Director-in-Charge of Manpower Standing Committee Md. Habib Ullah Dawn recommended bringing the manpower sector under government incentives to deal with the epidemic. He said the manpower sector is contributing 12 percent to the country’s GDP. Therefore, he called for more attention from the government in this regard. At the same time, he urged the government to take steps to officially honor the manpower exporters who have contributed to the economy.
Also present at the meeting were Co-Chairman of the Standing Committee Reaz-ul-Islam, Heroic Freedom Fighter Mostafa Mahmud, Heroic Freedom Fighter Ghulam Mustafa (Babul), Heroic Freedom Fighter Mohammed Seraj Miah, Mofiz Uddin, Md. Redwan Khan (Borhan) and Kazi M. A. Qashem along with other members of the Committee. FBCCI Director Amzad Hussain and Secretary General Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque were also present at the meeting.
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