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‘Syndicate behind air fare hike for Middle East’

Published : 29 Dec 2021 09:46 PM | Updated : 30 Dec 2021 04:18 PM

The country’s manpower exporters on Wednesday alleged that a syndicate is responsible for the price hike of air tickets for flyers to the Middle East.

“Migrant workers are suffering due to high ticket prices, so are the manpower exporters. The syndicate is responsible for this price increase,” they alleged.

The manpower exporters raised the allegation at the first meeting of the FBCCI's Standing Committee on Manpower and Skill Development.

Before the COVID-19, they said, the average fare of an air ticket from Bangladesh to the Middle East was Tk 50,000, which now has doubled.

Chairman of the FBCCI's standing committee Dr. Mohammed Faruque complained that in the past, the entire process of sending manpower to Malaysia was in the hands of only 10 companies.

Their corruption and irregularities led the Malaysian government to stop taking workers from Bangladesh at one stage, he alleged.

“Now the same clique is active to send migrant workers to the country through 25 companies.”

At the meeting, other members of the standing committee also expressed their concerns about the syndicate in the manpower sector.

Citing the examples of Nepal, India, Pakistan they said, each of these countries are exporting manpower to Malaysia through more than one and a half thousand recruiting agents. Therefore, there is no reason to limit the numbers of agents in Bangladesh.

The manpower exporters demanded the inclusion of a nominated member of the FBCCI in the meeting of the Malaysia-Bangladesh Joint Working Committee to break the syndicate in this sector.

The also discussed amending the Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act, raising the incentive rate on remittances from 2 per cent to 3 per cent.

The FBCCI's Standing Committee on Manpower and Skill Development has decided to inform the concerned ministries and the Prime Minister's Office, about the existing problems in the manpower export.

FBCCI Vice-President and Director-in-Charge of Manpower Standing Committee Md. Habib Ullah Dawn recommended bringing the manpower sector under government incentives to deal with the pandemic.

He said the manpower sector is contributing 12 per cent to the country's GDP.

Therefore, he called for more attention from the government in this regard.

He urged the government to take steps to officially honour the manpower exporters who have contributed to the economy.

Co-Chairman of the Standing Committee Reaz-ul-Islam, Mostafa Mahmud, Heroic Ghulam Mustafa (Babul), Mohammed Seraj Miah, Mofiz Uddin, Md. Redwan Khan (Borhan) and Kazi MA Qashem along with other members of the Committee were present in the meeting.

FBCCI Director Amzad Hussain and Secretary General Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque were also present at the meeting.

On December 19, a memorandum of understanding was signed at the ministerial level of the two countries to send workers from Bangladesh to Malaysia. Standard Operating Procedures-SOPs are to be formulated soon.

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