Govt exploring, sending workers to alternative labour markets: PM

Saying that the employment situation in different countries, especially in the oil dependent Middle East, might not remain the same due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said her government is working to explore and send workers to alternative labour markets.

“New labour markets are being exploring through the (Bangladesh) embassies in this regard. Although it was not possible under the present situation to send labours temporarily in South-east Asian countries including South Korea and Singapore, sending workers to Middle East countries has resumed at a desired level,” PM said.

The premier was replying to a query from Jatiya Party MP Shameem Haider Patwari.

About the alternative labour market, the prime minister said 50 Bangladeshi workers got work visa from Romania in October, 2020 and procuring 260 more work visas is under process.

PM also said for the first time, 240 skilled workers were sent to Uzbekistan on November 7, 2020 who are working under an engineering project.

Besides, 648 more Bangladeshi workers will be send to Uzbekistan while efforts are on to export manpower in other sectors of that country.

Hasina also said bright possibility of new labour markets has been created for Bangladesh in Africa, especially in Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, Zambia, Tanzania and Libya.

Sheikh Hasina said that the government has taken various measurers to send back Bangladeshi expatriates, who lost their jobs abroad during the pandemic and could not return, through creating new employment opportunities.

In this connection she said that the government is communicating with foreign ministries of different countries which recruit manpower.

“Three issues are getting importance in this regards: ensuring minimum food and health facilities for the stranded expatriates, facilitating their return with all benefits and six months’ salary, and requesting the destination countries for creating Covid-19 recovery and response fund for creating employment and small industries in those countries,” she said.

In reply to another query, PM said that Bangladesh was able to almost avert the economic recession due to the Covid-19 pandemic whereas many countries across the globe were heavily affected.

The Prime Minister said that from the very beginning of the pandemic, the government is tackling the crisis with prudence.