Saudi Arabia is going to import around 10,000 workers from Bangladesh every month in 10 categories of household jobs, free of cost.
The decision came at a meeting between Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain and a 19-member delegation led by Saudi Deputy Minister for International Affairs Ahmed Al-Fahaid at Probashi Kallyan Bhaban in the capital yesterday.
Speaking at a press briefing after the meeting, the minister said: “Saudi Arabia will primarily import housemaids, gardeners, drivers, managers and housekeepers from Bangladesh. The recruitment will be free of cost, but the migrants will have to pay around Tk20,000 at maximum for passport processing and other formalities here. The employers will bear all the cost of migration process, including the plane fare, medical tests, etc.”
The recruitment will be handled by the private agencies in both the countries, but Bangladesh government will monitor the recruitment process at the Bangladeshi end.
However, the government will not fix the processing fee, the minister said.
Also, anyone found to be involved in illegal visa trading at the Saudi end will be sentenced to imprisonment for as many as 15 years, as per Saudi law, he added.
Asked about the minimum wage for the workers, he said: “We have yet to finalise that, but we are trying to convince them to pay at least 1,500 Saudi riyal (around Tk30,000) every month.”
After the meeting with the minister, the Saudi team met a 10-member Bangladeshi delegation led by Khandker Md Iftekhar Haider, secretary at the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment, where they discussed the technical aspects of the manpower trade.
The Bangladeshi team comprised representatives from the Ministries of Home Affairs, Law, and Foreign Affairs, as well as the Prime Minister’s Office. Two counsellors from the Bangladeshi labour wing in Saudi Arabia were also present there.