Although the present caretaker government has taken a number of steps to bring discipline to the overseas employment sector, the high cost of migration to Malaysia is yet to see a reduction.
The recruiting agencies are still charging Tk 1.5 lakh to Tk 2 lakh whereas the government-fixed rate for sending each worker to Malaysia is only Tk 84,000.
Following allegation of charging extra money from the job seekers, the interim government dissolved the executive committee of Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira) and arrested its president MAH Salim. Baira’s Kuala Lumpur office, which allegedly extorted money from the workers, was also closed down.
Besides, Malaysian high commissioner in Bangladesh at a recent meeting with the expatriates welfare and overseas employment ministry also requested the government to look into the issue of charging extra money from the workers.
Sources in the ministry of expatriates welfare and recruiting agencies said that the cost could not be brought down because of the ‘lobbyist fee’ the agencies have to pay to some Malaysians for getting the job demand letters.
The issue of ‘lobbyist fee’ came to the attention of the authorities recently when a so-called Malaysian lobbyist admitted to the Bangladesh High Commission in Malaysia that he had agreements with six Bangladeshi recruiting agencies that pledged to pay him Tk 54,000 for managing each job demand letter from the employers.
The government also collected documents of such agreements, a source in the foreign ministry said, terming the agreements ‘very unusual.’
According to sources concerned, the so-called lobbyist went to the Bangladesh High Commission in Kuala Lumpur for securing visa and admitted the fact when asked about reasons for visiting Bangladesh.
Bangladesh High Commission immediately informed the matter to the home ministry, which then formed a committee led by an additional secretary and represented by the officials of Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET), Directorate of Passport, intelligence agencies and administrator of Baira to probe into the matter and submit a report within two months.
Contacted, Ministry of Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Secretary Abdul Matin Chowdhury said that they have received a letter in this regard.
“We also formed a committee to identify the reasons behind the high cost of migration to Malaysia. We hope that the committee will submit its report within one and a half months at the most. We shall then take decision on the basis of the recommendations,” he told The Daily Star yesterday.
Asked what steps the government would take if the probe discovers that ‘lobbyist fee’ in a manpower receiving country is the reason behind high cost of migration, he said, “Let’s get the report first. We’ll not do anything that destroys our labour market.”
Meanwhile, sources concerned said that the law enforcement agencies recently sought permission from the expatriates’ ministry for raiding the manpower agency offices, but opted not to go for it immediately as per the ministry advice that there might be a negative impact on the manpower business.
Tags: Bangla, Bangladesh, Bangladesh Economy, Bangladesh News, Daily Bangladesh News, Economy, News
Categories: Bangla, Bangladesh, Bangladesh Economy, Bangladesh News, Daily Bangladesh News, Economy, News