HC rules over illegal foreign workers in Bangladesh

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Industry insiders say the country has around 500,000 foreigners working under different ministries, projects and private companies

The High Court has issued a rule that asking the authorities concerned why their inaction to stop illegal foreign workers from working and running business from Bangladesh should not be declared illegal.

The bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman on Tuesday issued the rule after hearing a writ petition filed on December 12 by Supreme Court lawyer Md Monjur Nahid.

It also ordered the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (Bida), NGO Affairs Bureau and Bangladesh Export Processing Zone to submit separate reports, in 60 days, about how many foreigners are working in Bangladesh without valid permit and others details.

The petition was filed based on a report, headlined “Huge tax lost for illegal foreign employees: Bida,” published by English newspaper Daily Star on October 10.

The report had quoted Bida data that said government is losing millions of dollars a year in taxes from the foreigners who are working without permit in Bangladesh.

Industry insiders say the country has around 500,000 foreigners working under different ministries, projects and private companies. But, the report said, only 100,000 of them are registered with Bida.

Every year, according to government agencies, all these foreigners send back over $5 billion to their countries, said the report.