The government has set a target to send 21 lakh workers abroad in next three years, 1,000 workers from each upazila, to reduce the pressure on internal employments.
As part of the plan, finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal in his budget speech on Thursday focused on the government’s plans of generating and supplying skilled manpower to the global labour market.
In order to retain and boost the inflow of remittances through the legal channels, the government will also continue the cash incentive at the rate of 2 percent and offer special “package programme”.
An allocation of Tk 702 crore has been proposed for the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment, which is Tk 60 crore more than the amount proposed in the original budget of the current fiscal year.
Kamal said the remittance inflow registered 40.1 percent growth in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year compared to same period a year ago. The remittance totaled $22.75 billion during the period.
“This remarkable success in remittances has brought relief for Bangladesh during the COVID-19 pandemic when the country is going through uncertainty in export sector due to global economic downturn,” finance minister said.
“It has been possible due to the continuation of 2 percent cash incentives on expatriate income and simplification of the process of channeling remittances,” he added.
He said despite COVID-19 pandemic, a total of 2,17,669 Bangladeshi workers, including 21,934 female workers, were employed abroad in 2020.
“Apart from the traditional labour markets, Bangladesh has started sending workers in East European countries such as Poland, Albania, Romania, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and in Asian countries of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Vietnam and Cambodia,” Kamal said.
He also said a process is underway to create a database for different professional categories for hiring workers from the Data Bank.
The minister highlighted different steps that his government took to train workers and ensure their safe migration.
According to the experts and manpower sector insiders, there is nothing new for the expatriate workers in the proposed budget.
They think if the government’s plans are implemented properly, the whole sector will benefit.
Shariful Hasan, Head of BRAC Migration Programme, said, “We have to cope with the changed situation of the global labour market, triggered by the pandemic.”
He hoped that the proposed budget for FY2021-22 will help to ensure good governance in the migration sector and reduce migration cost, which is “much high in Bangladesh compared to other countries.”