As many as 250,000 Rohingyas may have gone abroad using Bangladeshi passports, according to Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Nurul Islam.
Speaking at an event in Dhaka on Saturday, he said: “When I travel abroad, a lot of people come and see me identifying themselves as Bangladeshis. When I ask them about their home, they say they are Rohingyas. Their number [Rohingyas going abroad with Bangladeshi passports] could be 250,000.”
He said a syndicate has been created to send labourers to Malaysia. “But it is not ours; it belongs to that country [Malaysia]... If we stop sending labourers now, a lot of people will suffer losses,” he added.
The event, the opening ceremony of the World Conference Series 2018, was held at a hotel in Dhaka.
The expatriate welfare minister said: “A proposal has been sent to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to give incentive to expatriates who send their income legally into the country. If the finance minister agrees to this, the system will be put in place.”
He said he was hopeful that this incentive would encourage expatriates to send home more remittance in legal ways.
He also said the government would help expatriates who want to invest their income in various sectors of Bangladesh.
During the program, the minister awarded 10 banks for helping expatriates bring their income into the country. The program was organized by the Centre for Non-Resident Bangladeshis (NRB).
Acting secretary of Election Commission Helaluddin Ahmed and Bangladesh Bank Deputy Governor Abu Hena attended the event, among the others.
Centre for NRB Chairman MS Shakil Chowdhury presided over the event.