Recruiters rue BMET harassment

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Reza Mahmud :
Recruiting agencies are reportedly facing significant hurdles in obtaining services from the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET), which is hindering the growth of manpower exports.

Businesspeople from various recruiting agencies allege that whenever they seek services from BMET, a section of dishonest officials creates obstacles and demands unethical benefits.

Veteran Freedom Fighter Ali Haider Chowdhury, Secretary General of BAIRA and director of East West Human Resource Center, told The New Nation, “We have resolved many issues through discussions with BMET and the other offices of the Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry.”

He added that BAIRA’s executive committee is ready to assist any member facing such problems.

BAIRA Joint Secretary General and proprietor of Rajdhani Trade International Tipu Sultan commented, “Intentional delays in government services constitute harassment.”

He emphasized that BAIRA, BMET, and the ministry are working together to make the sector more vibrant and enhance the national economy by boosting foreign currency earnings.

BMET Director (Immigration) Sadeq Ahmed could not be reached for comment despite several attempts.

However, BMET Director General Saleh Ahmed Mozaffar stated, “For group visa and individual visa disputes, I suggest agencies seek permission from the Expatriates’ Welfare Ministry.

Some BAIRA members have obtained permission from BMET, so others expect the same opportunity.”

Mozaffar urged victims of graft to contact him directly so he can take action. Recruiting agency owners frequently report difficulties in obtaining immigration certificates for individual visas from BMET.

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One agency proprietor, preferring anonymity, said, “I have several individual working visas from Saudi Arabia, but BMET officials claim group visas are necessary for issuing immigration certificates. This hampers my business.”

He explained that BMET regulations allow for individual visa certificates and that group visas are only required for sending more than 24 workers at a time. However, officials have suspended this, affecting his business.

Another business insider claimed that BMET’s activities have irritated host countries, potentially leading to suspended work orders from Bangladesh.

Delays in issuing immigration certificates are a regular occurrence, they allege.

Manpower exporters also face significant challenges in resolving disputes with migrant workers.

Migrants or their relatives often submit complaints to BMET regarding problems in host countries, such as employer misconduct or unpaid wages. BAIRA members typically resolve these issues by contacting employers or embassies in the relevant countries.

However, some BMET officials allegedly exploit these complaints for personal gain, according to several BAIRA members.

Additionally, obtaining training or TTC certificates from BMET’s Technical Training Centers (TTCs) has become increasingly difficult due to the actions of dishonest officials.

Business insiders believe that if BMET officials were genuinely helpful, the foreign currency-earning sector could be significantly boosted.

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