Letter To the Editor
Stop visa trade, ensure safe labour migration
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the number one source of Bangladesh's foreign currency. So the emigration procedure is a vital issue in this country. Unfortunately, some corrupted people are involved in visa trade, an illegal practice that pushes up recruitment cost for Bangladeshi workers going to Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia is Bangladesh's largest trade partner in the Middle East, with an annual trade of around $1.5 billion. An estimated 15 lakh Bangladeshis are working in the oil-rich country. Last year, they sent home remittance of $3.65 billion -- almost 20 percent of the country's total remittance of $18.35 billion that year. It is a fact that the workers going to Saudi Arabia have to pay a high cost because of brokers, who secure work visas from Saudi employers and then sell those at exorbitant prices.
It is expected that the two countries will be able to reach a consensus which will reduce the hassle of immigration process and reduce migration costs as well.