The government on Tuesday struck a deal for exporting housemaids to Saudi Arabia, accepting a lower than an expected pay package for housekeeping jobs.
Government representatives of the two countries signed the agreement on recruitment by Saudi employers under 12 categories of the housing sector, including housekeeping.
The salary of each domestic aide has been fixed at Tk 16,800 or 800 Saudi Riyal, according to the deal.
On Monday, expatriate welfare and overseas employment minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain said the salary of each housemaid would be in a range of Tk 25,200-Tk 31.500.
However, the government had given its consent to the lower pay while signing the agreement.
Asked about this, the secretary of the overseas employment ministry said the housemaids to be recruited by the Saudi employers would be entitled to other benefits such as plane fare, accommodation and dining facilities.
Despite signing of the deal for resumption of hiring Bangladeshis, the Saudi authorities have not yet confirmed when they will start recruiting Bangladeshi workers in other categories, particularly for the male workers.
The agreement was signed 10 days after the Saudi government had withdrawn a seven-year ban on Bangladeshis jobseekers in the Saudi market.
Saudi deputy minister for labour Dr Ahmed Al-Fahaid and secretary of overseas employment ministry Khandaker Md Iftekhar Haider signed the agreement at the Secretariat.
“Salary of workers to be recruited under 11 other categories will be fixed as per their efficiencies,” the secretary told newsmen.
Another agreement will be signed soon to recruit workers under other categories, he added.
Al-Fahaid said, “The workers won’t need to pay any charges to remit their money back home… They will have to spend no money as the employers will pay for their air tickets, food and many other things.”
He said they have set a minimum standard of salary but the efficient workers can earn more depending on their skills.
Source: Prothom Alo