Sunday, 26 March, 2023

Ensure low-cost labour migration

Ensure low-cost labour migration

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Migrant workers are termed as our national heroes. They play a significant role in reducing poverty, improving living standard and strengthening our foreign exchange reserve. The remittances that they send home drive up the national GDP. They are the drivers of our economic growth engine. For years together, the remittances sent by migrant workers have remained the second largest source of our foreign currency earnings after RMG. Everyone can easily notice the significant contribution of our migrants to the national economy. Their contribution to our economic growth is widely discussed, but their sufferings have become a tragic tale of our times. Regrettably, there seems to be none to raise voice about their sufferings.

Middle Eastern countries are the top destinations for Bangladeshi migrants. On previous occasions, these workers suffered a lot due to air fare hike on these routes. According to yesterday’s report of the Daily Sun, Malaysia-bound migrant workers are now facing a challenging situation due to skyrocketing fare for flight on Dhaka-Kuala Lumpur route. Many workers are unable to buy tickets at these high prices and are returning home empty-handed. Bangladeshi migrant workers continue to be subjected to exorbitantly high migration costs. Because of this phenomenon, the country will ultimately be the loser as it will be deprived of valuable foreign currency.

The Dhaka-Kuala Lumpur airfare was much lower prior to the reopening of the Malaysian labour market for Bangladesh. Workers attribute the rise in airfare to excessive greed of the Biman Bangladesh Airlines authorities. The government should take a tough stance against Biman personnel. Earlier, we learnt from various newspapers that our migrant heroes constantly suffer due to mismanagement at Dhaka airport. Media people have a major role to play in this regard. They can ask both the civil aviation and Biman Bangladesh Airlines authorities about the mismanagement at the airport as well as the high price of tickets.

Proper measures should be adopted at once to ensure that migrant workers’ experiences of leaving and returning to the country become pleasant enough. The government should introduce a ‘labour fare’ for migrants amid rising airfares. It must ensure low-cost, hassle-free labour migration.