Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) may send back 5 lakh (500,000) Bangladeshis -New recruitment rules on cards

By: Mithun Kamal
More than five lakh(500,000) Bangladeshimigrant workers may fall victim to tougher Saudi recruitment rules, officials said on Wednesday. Thousands of Bangladeshi workersfear that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) will send them back to their countryafter suspension of sponsor visas under the new rules.(The New Nation )

Abul Bashar, former president of Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA) told The New Nation on Wednesday “More than five lakh workers would be sent back ifthe Saudi authority implements new rules.”

Under the new law, Saudi government will not increase the job time frame of 18 categories, including accountant, secretary, salesman, administrator, sales manager, sales supervisor, finance manager, chief accountant, senior accountant, office manager, sales assistant, administration manager, office boy, driver,receptionist, warehouse manager, lift operator and logistic supervisor.

When his attention was drawn tothe new rules, Secretary of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Dr JafarAhmed Khan said the new law will be a problem for the illegal workers.

“We want that all workers goto Saudi Arabia after fulfilling their required terms and conditions. We don’t  want that anybody stays there illegally because it not only tarnishes the imageof the country but also causes financial loss to workers,” Khan said.

The Saudi authority may take decision to increase work permit for six years. After approval by the Saudi king, the new system will come into effect, sources said.

Around 50 lakh workers of India,Bangladesh, Pakistan and the Philippines will be sent back if the law is enforced.

Around 1 crore workers of different countries are now staying in Saudi Arabia. Of them 25 lakh are Bangladeshis, 35 lakh Filipinos and 40 lakh are Indians and Pakistanis.

Saudi Arabia recruited 26, 06,054Bangladeshi workers from 1976 to June 2012. They recruited 10,817 Bangladeshi workers from January to June this year. Of them 1,058 workers went Saudi in January, 912 in February, 1212 in March, 2433 in April, 3572 in May and 1630 in June, BMET data show.

Earlier on June 12, HattabAl-Anazi, a spokesman of the Labour Ministry of Saudi Arabia told the AlsharqArabic daily that the new Saudi Labour Law, which was issued through a royal decree, does not mention the sponsorship system.

“At present the sponsor is referred as employer. He said the relating between employer and worker would be determined by a contract.

In a previous statement DeputyLabor Minister Ahmad Al-Humaidan said the ministry had started taking practical steps aimed at scrapping the sponsorship (kafala) system.

He added: “We have already begun changing some technical terms related to the sponsorship system, like changing the term ‘transfer of sponsorship’ (naql kafala) to ‘transfer of services.’

“Other steps include preventing sponsors from holding passports of foreign workers and canceling the condition to obtain the sponsor’s approval for workers to bring their families to the Kingdom.”

 Source: The New Nation

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