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Tuesday, February 10, 2015, Magh 28, 1421, Robi-Us-Sani 20, 1436 Hijr

KSA Deputy Minister Meets PM
Riyadh to recruit 10,000 workers a month from BD
Staff Correspondent
Published : Tuesday, 10 February, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 54
Saudi Arabia will initially recruit maids, drivers and housekeepers from Bangladesh at "a minimum cost" with the employers bearing the full migration expenses. A total of 10,000 workers will be recruited in every month from Bangladesh for the household jobs.
The minimum salary for the employment would be Saudi Riyal 1,200 to 1,500.
The governments of both countries, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia, agreed the matter at a meeting held in Dhaka, a week after the Saudi authority withdrew the seven-year-embargo on import of labour from Bangladesh.
A 19-member team of the country led by Deputy Minister for International Affairs (labour) of Saudi Arabia Ahmed F Al-fahaid discussed manpower trade with Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain in his ministry at Probashi Kalyan Bhaban for an hour on Monday morning.
After the meeting, Mosharraf said in a briefing that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has agreed to recruit 10,000 workers per month from Bangladesh for the household works.
"The workers would be sent through public and private agencies. It may cost only Tk15,000 to 20,000 per worker under the state management. But, no ceiling has been fixed on recruitment by private agencies," he said.
He said the Saudi delegation assured that the employers will bear migration cost, plane fare, levy cost and other expenditures. So, he added, the expenses would remain in a "reasonable stage".
The recruitment will be done through both Saudi and Bangladeshi agencies. But, the government will not set any margin on the fees they would charge, Mosharraf said.
He said all the workers would be recruited from the national database as the government preserves all information of the overseas job seekers through online registration process.
"We issued 13 lakh new visas for workers in last year and this year a similar number of visas would be issued," said Dr Ahmed Al Fahaid after the meeting.
Expressing hope he said that the recruitment process would be done smoothly with the help of his Bangladesh counterpart.
"We have done very extensive studies and identified issues and we have just paved the way for the private sector to recruit workers," the Saudi head of the delegation added.
Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Secretary Khandoker Iftekhar Haider abd BMET Director General Shamsun Nahar were also present in the meeting.
The Saudi government imposed a ban on importing manpower from Bangladesh in 2008 alleging anomalies in the recruitment process.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia on Monday expressed its interest to recruit more manpower from Bangladesh for mutual benefits of the two brotherly countries.
Visiting Saudi Deputy Minister for International Affairs Dr Ahmed Fahad I Alfahaid expressed this interest when he paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official Ganabhaban residence here this evening.
After the meeting, PM's Press Secretary AKM Shameem Chowdhuri briefed reporters.
The Saudi deputy minister said, "We are not happy with the little number of Bangladeshis working in Saudi Arabia. We want to hire more workers from Bangladesh."
He mentioned that Bangladeshi workers are very hard-working and faithful and they are making immense contribution to Saudi economy.
Expressing satisfaction over the existing bilateral relations with Bangladesh, Dr Fahad said they have a good history with Bangladesh.
The Prime Minister thanked the Saudi government for resumption of recruiting Bangladeshi workers.
"We are providing necessary training to the workers on laws, rituals and language so that they don't face any problem in Saudi Arabia," she said.
In this connection, the Prime Minister requested the Saudi government to come up with their curriculum and provide joint training. Sheikh Hasina once again greeted the new Saudi King through the deputy minister.
Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Engineer Khandakar Mosharraf Hossain, PM's International Affairs Advisor Dr Gowher Rizvi, Senior Secretary of the Prime Minister's Office Md Abul Kalam Azad and Press Secretary AKM Shameem Chowdhuri were present on the occasion.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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