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High cost of migration stalling manpower export

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16th-May-2017       
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ILLEGAL visa selling is blamed for increasing cost of migration of Bangladeshi workers abroad, though the government has enacted a law in this regard to stop this unlawful activity. According to the Expatriate Welfare Act of 2013, if any one is found illegally involving in selling or buying of visa he will be sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. But this practice of illegal visa selling has not stopped so far, it was alleged, as per a report of our daily.

According to migrant workers, when the citizens of Philippines, India, Nepal and Pakistan recover their costs of migrations abroad within three to four months on joining their work, the Bangladeshi workers need minimum two years to recover the cost of migration. Officially the formal cost of migration of a worker going to Saudi Arabia is Tk 165,000. But he has to pay agencies or brokers minimum of Tk 600,000 to avail of the work permit and visa. At the same way, a worker formally needs to pay Tk 37,575 to get a job in Malaysia, while the reality is that, every migrant has to pay Tk 3 to 4 lakh for this.

Some leaders of Bangladesh Association of International Recruitment Agencies (BAIRA) have blamed illegal selling of visa as the main cause of increasing cost of workers' migration.  They alleged that some recruiting agencies are involved in selling group visa illegally. When any foreign company gives order to such agencies to recruit a group of workers they sell the visa to other agencies at high rate. They also retain their profits pushing the cost of migration.

A section of dishonest officials of the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) and the concern ministry also collect grafts from the expatriates while they go to those offices for clearance.  This along with increased competition for each visa by many candidates pushes the price of migration up.

There is no easy solution to this; it needs a fundamental change in the mindset of our countrymen who have no qualms about selling their lands to go to a place where they need to work a minimum of 18-24 months to get that money back. It makes no sense whatsoever. All authorities concerned should ensure that job opportunities must exist in our own country to keep our workers away from crowding for migration. If a person can work in the country why would one want to go abroad? This allure of the foreign country must stop. Our migration system is one of the most illegal and unethical one aimed at deceiving the poor helpless people. It is time we must create enough jobs at home to stop our young people from falling into job givers' trap at home and abroad. 

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