Indians remit $4b from Bangladesh: RMMRU

RMMRU founding chair Tasneem Siddiqui speaks at a press conference at the National Press Club on Sunday. Photo: UNB
RMMRU founding chair Tasneem Siddiqui speaks at a press conference at the National Press Club on Sunday. Photo: UNB

Despite increased inflow of remittance in 2019, labour migration from Bangladesh has declined by about 10 per cent compared to the previous year, according to a study.

The study carried out by Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) reveals that 604,060 Bangladeshi workers migrated to the Middle Eastern (89 pc) and South Asian countries (11 pc) between January and November, 2019 against 734,181 during the corresponding period in 2018, reports UNB.

"If the trend continues till December, the rate is likely to decrease by 10 per's not necessarily a bad thing as we've to consider that Malaysia has refrained from taking Bangladeshi manpower over political turmoil, hence, the migration rate has dropped slightly," said RMMRU founding chair Tasneem Siddiqui.

She read out the 'Labour Migration Trend Report-2019' at a press conference titled 'International Labour Migration Trend -2019: Achievements and Challenges' arranged by RMMRU with support from Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) and UKaid at the National Press Club.

As of November 2019, the report says the total remittance inflow into the country reached 16.67 billion US dollars.

"If the rate holds up till December, our total remittance in 2019 will be nearly 18.19 billion US dollars which is a 17.05 per cent increase compared to that of previous year," Siddiqui said.

Despite the allegations of violence against Bangladeshi female workers in the Middle East countries, the number of total female migrant workers is likely to go up by 4.52 per cent in 2019, the report reveals.

A total of 97,430 female workers have migrated abroad till November this year and 59.82 per cent of those have migrated to Saudi Arabia.

However, the report highlighted that only one per cent of the total migrated Bangladeshi workers have professional skills. However, data of the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) suggests that 44 per cent of total migrant workers are 'skilled' ones.

Supreme Court lawyer Shahdeen Malik focused on the issue saying those who are labeled as skilled are being proven unskilled in foreign standards.

"Most of the 44 per cent skilled workers are female workers who received a 21-day training before going abroad. That doesn't necessarily make them skilled. Besides, in foreign markets our skilled manpower has no demand...Bangladesh is still known as the supplier of unskilled workers," he said.

"Our education system is not producing skilled manpower. Bangladeshi professional physicians and engineers have almost no demand abroad," said Malik.

"By working in Bangladesh, Indians send huge amount money to their home country. The number of Indian manpower working in Bangladesh cannot exceed 200,000 but they are bringing for their country minimum 4 billion US dollars a year as remittance. This is because of their skill," he said.

The 'Labour Migration Trend Report-2019' listed a set of recommendations for the benefit of country's labour migrantion sector.

The recommendations include ensuring safety of female workers in Saudi Arabia, creating labour database of repatriated migrant workers, increasing diplomatic pressure on Myanmar for Rohingya repatriation, forming a collective diplomatic taskforce to repel any adverse effect of India's Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) and more.