Recruiting Agencies Oikya Parishad, a platform of manpower exporters, has demanded that the price of air tickets be kept at a reasonable level and a "labour fare" be fixed for migrant workers.
Speakers from a human chain held in front of the National Press Club in the capital on Saturday, said currently the price of air tickets has gone up unreasonably, which has increased the migration costs of overseas workers.
M Tipu Sultan, president of the parishad, said, "At present, the price of air tickets from Bangladesh to Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries has been unreasonably increased 3/4 times by various airlines including Bangladesh Biman."
He said air tickets from India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka to Arab countries cost between Tk18,000 and Tk22,000.
The price was the same in Bangladesh before the coronavirus outbreak. The price of an air ticket from Bangladesh to the same destination is currently between Tk70,000 and Tk90,000.
He said, "Foreign airlines are taking billions of dollars of hard-earned foreign currency from the country. We want to see the fixing of "labour fare" for the expatriate workers and its visible immediate implementation, even if it is through Bangladesh Biman."
Meanwhile, it was demanded from the human chain that the export of manpower should be declared as an industry immediately.
The recruiting agencies say that at present, due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, the manpower export sector and recruiting agencies have incurred a loss of hundreds of crores of taka.
Since this sector is not included as an industry, the agencies have been deprived of the financial incentives announced by the government. The sector that generates $22 billion a year in foreign exchange has been neglected for decades.
They demanded that the government stop harassing agency owners under the human trafficking act when smart card holding workers face trouble abroad and to list all legitimate recruiting agencies approved by the government in all embassies in Bangladesh and abroad.
There are about 2,000 recruiting agencies in the country. So far, 1.33 crore foreign jobs have been created through these agencies.