Government announces expatriates insurance for migrant workers

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Over 10 million Bangladeshi migrant workers are residing in different regions across the world

After ensuring 2% incentive on money remitted by expatriate Bangladeshis during this fiscal year,  Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry announced an expatriates insurance for all going abroad for a better livelihood.

Secretary of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry, Md Salim Reza made the announcement at a press briefing in the Ministry yesterday saying: “All expatriate workers going abroad will be provided with insurance services from this fiscal year.”

Salim also ensured that Prime Minister Sheikh will launch the insurance policies for migrant workers at an event at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) tomorrow as part of celebrating World Migrant Day.

Earlier in the budget, an allocation of Tk3,060 crore for the next fiscal year was added to mitigate the burden of increased expenses in sending foreign remittances.

Sources at the ministry said there would be two compulsory insurance schemes of Tk2 lakh and Tk5 lakh in a bid to provide financial security to expatriate workers and their family members.

Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmed speaks during a press briefing at the ministry on Tuesday, December 16, 2019 | Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka TribuneBoth the schemes will be eligible for migrant workers aged between 18 and 58 years. An agreement between Wage Earners Welfare Board (WEWB) of the ministry and state-owned Jiban Bima Corporation (JBC) officials had been signed in this regard as well.

22% more remittance this year

Minister of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Imran Ahmed said: “They are observing higher amounts of remittances this year. The amount is 22% more than it was in the first five months of the previous fiscal year.”

According to Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) statistics Bangladesh received some US$6.3 billion in the first five months of 2019 fiscal year where the number rose to US$7.7 billion in 2019.

If the flow continues, then remittances from expatriate workers might reach $21 billion at the end of this fiscal year, he hoped.

According to Bangladesh Bank, the country received remittances worth $16.4 billion in the first 11 months of the current fiscal year (FY2018-19). In May, Bangladesh received $1.76 billion — the highest amount of monthly remittance to date.

All harassment cases would be investigated

The minister while replying to a question about returning sexually harassed female expatriate workers said: “It is not acceptable and all the cases would be investigated and action would be taken if any of the recruitment agencies are found guilty.

Earlier, replying to a similar question, the secretary of the ministry Selim Reza said they are providing hand cash (Taka 5000) to the victim soon after they land in the country and will provide training if they want to go back to work abroad or want to work in the country.

Meanwhile, saying the global migrant workers market is shifting from an unskilled to a skilled one, the ministry prefers sending skilled people abroad from now on.

He further said in a bid to achieve the purpose; they have already started amending the process and are planning to establish a Technical Training Centre (TTC) in every upazila so that in the days to come at least 1000 men and women could be skilled enough to be sent abroad.

According to the data from BMET, workers from some 54 districts went abroad for a better livelihood.

“We want our people to have a secure job abroad and none of our female workers should come back after being harassed by any means,” the minister added.