BIDA seeks foreign employees’ info from registered cos

Economic Reporter :
Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) has asked all registered companies to provide it with information about their foreign employees to get required services from the organisation, sources said.
The services provided by the authority to different industrial units, branches/liaison/regional offices of any foreign company and other business entities include visa recommendations, work permit, extension, amendment and cancellation of work permit, approval to set up office, branches/liaison or regional office, their extension or any changes in approval, relaxation of any conditions and outgoing repatriation, they added.
BIDA on September 17 issued a circular in this regard.
“A company has to certify that it doesn’t have any foreign employee without work permit at the time of application for getting BIDA services,” according to the circular.
Otherwise, the services mentioned above could not be possible to be provided, it warned.
BIDA also prescribed a format with the circular, seeking the total number of foreign employees, employees with work permit, employees without having work permit and measures taken against the employees who have no work permit.
When asked, BIDA executive chairman Md Sirazul Islam said the move has taken to bring the foreign employment under regulations.
Foreigners are staying in the country with different visas and many of them are working with different projects, officials said, adding that though projects allow them to stay for short time, they must have work permit as they are coming from abroad.
Officials said there is no specific data on foreign employees currently working in the country’s different industrial sectors including readymade garment (RMG) and others.
Besides, many of them are illegally staying in Bangladesh, even after expiry of their work permit, thus depriving the government of revenue, they added.
Sources said minimum US$ 5.0 billion in total flows out of the country annually due to hiring of these foreign nationals, in addition to reduction in job opportunities for local people.