Thousands Bangladeshi expatriates living mainly Middle East and Malaysia are intended for repatriation soon after flights being launched.
Bangladesh embassies across middle east an Kuala Lumpur sources informed Business Mirror Monday.
“More than 50,000 Bangladeshi are hoping to fly home is now well under way from the UAE,” a senior official of Bangladesh Embassy Dubai said.
Most expats living Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, and Malaysia are aiming to return to Bangladesh after losing jobs or having their salaries cut to the economic impact of Covid-19, while others were tourists stranded in the country when flights were grounded.
“The number of people who want to go back home will be pretty big especially in the initial days and our challenge will be in deciding who goes first,” said the official preferring anonymity.
“We haven’t got guidelines from Dhaka about who will be on the first flight but I guess it will be medical cases, pregnant woman, the elderly, Indians stranded in Dubai airport and workers in a bad condition.”
Bangladeshis will need to pay for the flight home with the government assisting in some cases of workers in distress. Bangladesh is yet to open airspace for international commercial travel.
Meanwhile, Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employees ministry has taken various policies and fiscal support for Bangladesh expatriates who return from aboard for retrenchment from their jobs due to Coronavirus pandemic.
Over 500,000 Bangladeshis workers are passing days in deep crisis abroad as they are facing forced repatriation, loss of jobs, limited access to foods and the healthcare system.
The ministry so far spent only Tk 5 cr to welfare for the Bangladeshi destitute workers by the ministry.
As part of the ministry plan, Expatriates Welfare, and Overseas Employment minister Imran Ahmad told Business Mirror that the government will provide a low-interest credit for Bangladeshis expatriates who return home from aboard for seeking a job in their home land.
In this purpose, the finance ministry will allocate Tk 200 cr incentive packages in the next fiscal year budget, he said.
Besides, Expatriates ministry is also contemplating to an increase another 2% incentive for expatriates who send money from aboard.
Remittance flow has increase significantly by $18 billion in 2019-20 fiscal year due some steps taken by the government including introduction of 2 per cent incentive.
According to the World Bank (WB) report the volume of Bangladesh’s inward remittances is likely to reach US$ 14 billion at the end of 2020, compared to over $18 billion in 2019.
According to BMET (Bureau of Manpower, Employment, and Training) data, over 1.2 crore workers have migrated to 170 countries and they send remittances of $ 16 billion annually. Over 80 percent of migrants were employed in the Middle East and East Asian countries, said officials.