By: Arafat Ara
The Financial Express | 3 March 2017
The Bangladesh government has moved to fix a maximum ceiling of migration cost for Singapore-bound workers in a bid to check arbitrary charges by manpower recruiters, sources said.
The expatriate welfare ministry is working to fix the cost based on a proposal made by the Bangladesh embassy in Singapore, they said adding the Bangladesh mission has proposed the maximum migration cost to be Tk 260,000 including all necessary charges for each worker.
“We asked the labour wing at the Bangladesh embassy in Singapore to prepare a possible migration cost for Singapore-bound workers. They sent it and now we are working on its suggestion to fix a rational migration cost,” said Musharraf Hossain, joint secretary at the Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment ministry.
He also said the government has taken the move as a section of manpower recruiters is charging a large amount of money from the jobseekers which is illogical.
As per the proposal of the Bangladesh mission, the cost will include Tk 55,000 for training and accommodation, Tk 25,000 to Tk 30,000 for air fare and Tk 25,000 to Tk 30,000 for agent fees. Other costs which have to be borne by the workers are Tk 24,500 to Tk 27,000 as test fees to be given to the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) in Singapore and company fee Tk 8,000 to Tk 15,000 etc.
The costs will be fixed for building construction, ship building and repairing sector jobs, he said.
The ministry official said as there is no ceiling of the cost of migration, recruiters are now charging whatever they like from the jobseekers.
However, experts said following higher migration charges, workers are unable to recover the cost during their job period as they are hired for a project of a company. If the project is stopped for any reason, the workers become jobless and are forced to come back home.