BAIRA asks to keep Middle- East bound operative
The top leaders of Sammilita Samannay Front (SSF) of Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA) on Tuesday demanded for keeping the opening of Middle East-bound flights during the lockdown period to facilitate the migrant workers as well to ensure steady remittance inflow in the country.
The leaders made their plea to the government addressing a press conference at the Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) in the city organized by SSF. SSF President Dr Mohammed Faruque was the main speaker at the press conference.
Disclosing the written speech of the Sammilita Samannay Front, Dr Mohammed Faruque said that the government has announced ban on all international and domestic flights in the lockdown for a week from Wednesday, coinciding with yet another lockdown to counter a spike in novel coronavirus infections.
"We are not going against the government decision; rather, we are ready to provide our support to enforce the lockdown. But, we want to allow the Middle-East going flights for facilitating the migrant workers" he added.
The country's economy has gained huge chunk of remittance for the contribution of the migrant workers since 1976 in which the lion share of the remittance are entering from the Middle-East countries, mentioned the President, he observed.
Meanwhile, thousands of the migrant workers of the Middle-East countries are eagerly waiting to reach the overseas work stations; he said adding that many migrant workers have already confirmed their non refundable air tickets to reach their foreign workplaces, he claimed.
"If the migrant workers would fail to reach their overseas work destinations, many migrant workers may lose their air ticket money. Apart from this, the validity of the passports of many migrant workers will expire during this week-long lockdown which will surely put an adverse impact on the total manpower export and the economy as well", said Faruque.
Actually, Bangladesh is one of the major remittance recipient countries and earned US$21.8 billion in the last year and the migrant workers in the Middle-East countries are playing an important role in propelling the economic activities of the country for a vast majority of the low-income population during the pandemic period.
Considering the necessity in revamping the economy during this pandemic, the government need to rethink on the ban of Middle-East going flights to minimize the economic loses of the migrant workers as well as to ensure higher remittance inflow in the country, he recommended.
Dr. Mohammed Faruque, however, urged the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Civil Aviation Minister to undertake holistic approach to open the Middle-East base flights for patronizing the migrant workers as well as to save country from economic recession.