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Govt to pay quarantine rent for Saudi Arabia-bound workers

  • Published at 07:59 pm May 29th, 2021
Migrant workers
File photo of Bangladeshi migrant workers holding passports SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

Each of the workers will be given Tk20,000-25,000

The government has decided to bear the cost of hotel quarantine for Saudi Arabia-bound migrant workers to reduce their financial burden.

Furthermore, the government plans to form a quick response team to address the problems faced by migrant workers.

Ahmed Munirus Saleheen, secretary of the Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry, on Saturday told Dhaka Tribune: “As per government directives to mitigate the problems of migrant workers, the ministry will pay Tk20,000-25,000 to each Saudi Arabia-bound migrant worker as financial support for mandatory institutional quarantine in the destination country.”

The financial aid will be provided from the Wage Earners’ Welfare Fund. If any of the workers require Tk40,000-50,000 for institutional quarantine, the government will only be able to bear half the amount, the secretary added.

The official further said migrant workers who have already travelled to Saudi Arabia will still be eligible for the financial assistance.

In addition, Saleheen urged migrant workers to get Covid-19 vaccines through the Bureau of Manpower, Employment, and Training (BMET), so that the government can easily determine the exact number of vaccines needed for migrant workers.

On May 10, the authorities in Saudi Arabia imposed a new travel advisory that said all non-citizens travelling to Saudi Arabia who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 must quarantine for a minimum of seven days. The order came into effect on May 20, according to media reports.  

On Tuesday, the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA) urged the government to pay every Saudi Arabia-bound migrant worker Tk60,000 from the Wage Earners' Welfare fund to cover mandatory seven-day hotel quarantine in Saudi Arabia.

BAIRA member Mohammad Faruk said: “Migrant workers have kept the country's economy afloat by sending remittance every year and during the pandemic. The decision [to bear their quarantine expenses] should have been taken sooner.”

On April 14, the government decided to send migrant workers with valid work visas abroad on special flights to Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore.