MANPOWER EXPORT: Smart database still a far cry


Reza Mahmud :

The country’s vital foreign currency-earning migration sector remains vulnerable due to severe issues such as the lack of a proper database platform containing complete information on migration-oriented manpower. Stakeholders argue that while there are various problems in this sector, a robust database platform could resolve many of these visible issues.

Sources indicate that there is an existing app named ‘Ami Probashi,’ but stakeholders have not been able to obtain all the necessary assistance from this platform. In an effort to alleviate the struggles and reduce costs for migrant workers while enhancing transparency in migration procedures, the Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry and the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET) introduced the ‘Ami Probashi’ app in 2021.

Ami Probashi officials claim that about 5.2 million individuals have utilised the services, with 2.8 million successfully securing jobs abroad. However, migration-oriented manpower and recruiting agencies have expressed that this app is not the comprehensive platform they need.

“Ami Probashi app is not a database platform. It is just for certain tasks like getting clearance from BMET before going abroad,” said Muhammad Fakhrul Islam, Joint-Secretary General-1 of the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA), to The New Nation on Friday. He added that stakeholders are eager for a platform where concrete data on foreign-bound manpower can be accessed.

Officials from the Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry and BMET, preferring anonymity, stated that the Ami Probashi app failed to fulfill the ambition of digitizing the sector. They emphasized the need for a complete digital platform where every sector participant could be connected, access information, and integrate their purposes—capabilities that are entirely absent in the current app.


For example, one BMET official noted that an individual could open multiple files or IDs in the app. Additionally, there is a significant amount of false information regarding workers’ skills and experiences. “Suppose someone has no workable experience or skill as a plumber but registers as a plumber in the app. If a recruiting agency chooses him and sends him abroad, he will fail in his job,” said a recruiting agency proprietor. Such failures could collapse the entire system as credibility diminishes.

Furthermore, employers from abroad cannot access the app to find eligible manpower, which is essential for such a database. BMET and BAIRA officials suggested that a proper database platform should showcase all of a person’s skills in one ID, preventing multiple accounts. They also noted that Bangladeshi embassies need access to the platform to verify documents and information.

A senior BMET official mentioned that a certain group is obstructing the development of a new and efficient digital platform to make the migration process faster and more transparent. “This group insists that the Ami Probashi app is sufficient, but we know it does not meet the necessary requirements,” the official said.

Freedom Fighter Ali Haider, Secretary General of BAIRA, told The New Nation, “The Ami Probashi app is only processing deporting certificates online, nothing more.” He emphasized the need for a smart online database platform to expedite manpower export and boost the country’s remittance earnings.

When contacted, Ahsanul Haque, Manager Operations of Ami Probashi at the BMET building, said he was busy and would talk later. He later reiterated over the phone that he was still busy and promised to call back but failed to do so.