Manpower export shrinks by 21pc

December 29, 2010

The Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit on Tuesday said that Bangladesh’s manpower export had been reduced by 21 per cent in 2010, and the growth in remittance, only 1.4 per cent, was the lowest in the last 30 years. The RMMRU came up with the findings in its report — Labour Migration 2010: Achievement and Constraints — at a press conference in the National Press Club.
The labour and employment minister, Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, admitted to New Age that export of the workers had decreased but argued that the demand for workers had shrunk in the international market.
He said that 3.85 lakh workers of Bangladesh went aboard in 2010, nearly a lakh less than 4.75 lakh in 2009.
‘Manpower export will increase next year, because I am hopeful that Malaysia and Kuwait will take workers from Bangladesh’ he said.
Tasneem Siddiqui, chair of the RMMRU, said that the government had failed to find any new markets for the migrant workers due to the lack of coordination between the labour and employment ministry and foreign affairs ministry. ‘Bangladesh needs more efficient economic diplomacy and pragmatic moves for expanding labour markets aboard,’ she added.
According to the report which quoted the statistics of the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training, 64 per cent of the workers who went abroad were unskilled, 17.48 per cent skilled, 4.25 per cent semi-skilled and 0.08 per cent professional. About 41,220 migrant workers returned to Bangladesh in 2010.
Of the workers, 52.27 per cent went to United Arab Emirates, 11 per cent to Oman, nine per cent to Singapore and two per cent to Saudi Arabia in 2010. About 60 to 70 per cent of the export of manpower went to Saudi Arabia till 2004.
The report said that the growth rate of remittance, which was around 10 per cent in the last 30 years, was only 1.46 per cent in 2010. Migrant workers of Saudi Arabia sent the highest amount of remittance, followed by those of in the UAE, United States and Kuwait.
The Dhaka University-based research unit also said that only 97 persons aspiring to work abroad took loans from the bank this year. ‘Lack of initiative by the banks’ officials and the high rate of interest discouraged the would-be migrant workers from taking loans from the banks,’ said Tasneem.
This year 56 new recruiting agencies got licences, and of the 891 agencies 27 lost their licences. ‘The government should take the necessary measures to make these agencies accountable’.
The report also said that export of female workers increased by 11.76 per cent, but women still comprise only 6.60 per cent of the total overseas working force.
Tasneem also said that although the BMET claims that there are about 7.6 million migrant workers, the actual figure is smaller.
The RMMRU also said that a good amount of the total amount of remittance was still being sent home through hundi, which is illegal.
It also said that the government had taken some positive steps like amending the Emigrant Ordinance 1982, deciding to ratify the UN Convention 1990 on migrants workers’ rights, setting up the Prabashi Kalyan Bank and introducing BMET smart cards, along with other measures.
The programme was presided over by Shahdeen Malik, rights activist and lawyer.

 

Courtesy of NewAge

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