Job opportunities of Bangladeshi workers in Qatar sharply declined by over 31,000 in the first ten months of the current year compared to the corresponding period of last year.
Qatar recruited some 70,440 workers from Bangladesh from January to October reducing the jobs for overseas workers to fewer than 102,073 workers recruited by the gulf country during the same period of 2016, according to Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training.
The oil-rich gulf country recruited an average 10,000 workers in each of the six months till June this year but the number halved to 5,000 a month, BMET statistics showed.
Expatriates welfare and overseas employment ministry’s joint secretary for employment Narayan Chandra Barma said that the government was trying to find the real causes of the decline in the number of overseas jobs.
‘The EWOE minister, Secretary and other senior officials are working together to find a way to send more workers abroad,’ he said.
Bangladeshi expatriate workers and migration analysts said that overseas jobs in Qatar shrank in the recent months due to sanction imposed by the neighboring countries including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Several countries including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar in last June. They also imposed different sanctions, which affected the economy of the Gulf country.
Hasan Sarwar Alam, a Bangladeshi worker from Doha, said that there were many workers from Bangladesh who were not getting jobs and wages for several months.
‘We are not getting overtime facility for four months,’ he said, adding that job opportunities shrank in Qatar in last few months.
Sarwar also said that each worker from Bangladesh was going to Qatar paying a migration cost of Tk five lakh and the joblessness in that country was putting the migrant families in financial problems.
Zabbar Miah from Dubipather, Bajitpur, Kishoreganj went to Qatar in August paying Tk 4.5 lakh to broker but in last three months he has been able to send back home only Tk 9,000, his mother told New Age.
Returned migrant turned leading migrant rights campaigner Faruque Ahmed, also secretary general of WARBE Development Foundation, said that he found a good number Bangladeshi construction workers who recently returned home after losing their jobs in Qatar within three month of migration.
‘A nexus of middlemen are cheating Bangladeshi migrant workers by recruiting them under temporary visas,’ he said.
BMET Data showed that some 669,666 Bangladeshi workers went to Qatar since 1976. They sent home remittances worth US$ 515.23 million in 2016.
In last June, expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment minister Nurul Islam claimed that Bangladesh labour market in Qatar would not be affected for deteriorating diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.