Govt fixes migration cost Tk 1,65,000 for Saudi
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The government has fixed Tk 1,65,000 as migration cost for Saudi Arabia. A male migrant needs the amount to migrate to Saudi Arabia to join work in the oil rich nation.

"We have fixed Tk 1,65,000 for a male migrant to go to Saudi Arabia to work," expat ministry additional secretary Jabed Ahmed told the on Monday evening.

Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training in a notification on Monday requested that all concerned should not make any transaction of additional money of the government fixed migration cost of Tk 165000 for each Saudi bound male worker.

 ‘If anyone will be found responsible for demanding or transacting additional cost, punitive action will be taken against the person or agency,’ the notification cautioned.

BMET officials, recruiting agents and concerned migrant rights campaigners said that a male worker usually pays recruiting agents Tk 5 lakh to Tk 6 lakh for a job in Saudi Arabia.

Female workers and their male companions are entitled to cost-free jobs, but they are required to pay sub-agents about Tk 50,000, they said.

On August 11, the government of Saudi Arabia has lifted the ban it had put on the recruitment of Bangladeshi workers.

The ban was in force for the past seven years, except for the domestic service workers.

Currently, there are about 15 lakh Bangladesh workers in the kingdom, including around 60,000 housemaids.

Most of the workers are also cheated in the jobs and salaries promised before they leave home. Allegations of torture at workplaces by employers and sexual harassment of female workers are also common in the Gulf country.

After the Saudi authorities lifted ban on the recruitment of  Bangladeshi migrants, Bangladesh Ambassador Golam Moshi said the Saudi-bound migrants will be able to join work in 
Saudi Arabia in zero-migration cost like other nationals including Sri Lankans, Indians.

The Bangladesh envoy also said the employer will bear air fare and service charges. A migrant merely needs to spend for medical check-up and passport purposes. 

Rights organisation WARBE Development Foundation chairman Syed Saiful Haque said the migration for the Saudi-bound migrant should not be so much.

"We will give a formal reaction after we know the reason behind fixing the migration cost at Tk 1,65,000," Saiful told over cell phone on Monday.

WARBE Development Foundation Chairman also said, "We have discussed with the stake holders including the recruiting agencies and the government officials and we think it should not cross Tk 50,000  as the maximum migration cost".

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