Bangladeshi labour market has shrunk alarmingly in the recent months due to global recession posing serious concern about manpower export that has played a pivotal role in gearing up country’s economy and foreign exchange reserve.
The manpower export in the first three months of 2009 dropped by a staggering number 85,465 compared to the corresponding period in 2008.
Against this backdrop a parliamentary standing body on expatriate welfare and overseas employment ministry yesterday recommended the government takes immediate measures to tackle the decline in manpower export.
Members of the standing body said the manpower export had dropped significantly in the recent months due to global meltdown.
The standing committee recommendations include looking for new potential labour market and reorganising foreign missions of the country.
Manpower export in January 2008 was 91,999 while the number dropped to 50,632 in the same month of 2009, the ministry officials informed the meeting.
In February 2008 a total of 71,716 people were sent abroad while the number came down to 43,856 in the same month of 2009. In March 2008 the number was 59,183 while it dropped to 42,945 in March 2009.
The meeting, however, observed that decline in manpower export did not affect the flow of remittance rather it has increased about 15 percent in the last three months compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.
The ministry high officials informed the meeting that they had already taken some immediate measures including intensifying ‘diplomatic and friendly’ relations with manpower import countries and holding joint meetings with foreign diplomats in Dhaka to tackle the sharp fall in manpower export.
“We recommended that the government should reorganise Bangladeshi foreign missions abroad so that foreign missions strongly work on the issue of manpower export,” Anisul Islam Mahmud told reporters after the meeting in the parliament building.
“There are about 22 lakh Bangladeshi workers in Saudi Arabia against a few officials in our embassy there to look after our workers,” Anisul added.
“We have asked the ministries concerned to send capable and expert people as officials in the labour wing so that they can handle the labour issue efficiently,” said the chief of the committee.
“The ministry concerned has already sent letters to our foreign missions to look for labour market in East Europe and Africa beyond our conventional labour market,” he added.
The ministry officials informed the committee that it had already started sending workers to Korea, Romania, South Africa, Azerbaijan, Algeria and Sudan in the pursuit of new labour market.
Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandoker Musharraf Hossain, committee members Ishak Hossain Talukdar, ABM Abul Kashem, among others, were present at the meeting.
Source: The Daily Star, 14 May 2009