Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed the Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry to make the overseas employment process very transparent and conduct an extensive campaign to raise awareness among job-seekers.
She asked authorities concerned to ensure facilitating easy loans from the Probashi Kallyan Bank (PKB) so that job-seekers do not need to resort to selling lands to go abroad.
Sheikh Hasina gave the directives while chairing the virtual cabinet meeting from her official residence Gonobhaban on Monday.
Other officials joined the meeting from the Secretariat, Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam stated while briefing journalists after the meeting.
"The prime minister instructed the ministry to carry out massive campaigns in the media – television channels, radios and newspapers – to inform them (overseas job seekers) about their employment authority and the total expense needed to go abroad. She also stressed making loans easy for the job seekers from the Probashi Kallyan Bank," he said.
The ministry also asked the authorities concerned to take steps so that Bangladeshi workers would not need to pay extra money for getting the overseas jobs and they can go abroad contacting the ministry and its directorates concerned, said the cabinet secretary.
"Many Bangladeshi workers go abroad making direct payment and knowing nothing about the jobs upon assurance by a class of middlemen," he said and added that a few such cases were also discussed in the meeting.
"Some Bangladeshis went to Malaysia spending Tk3-4 lakh, but many of them could not recover their cost in two years and returned home empty-handed," added Anwarul.
In the meeting, the Prime Minister also instructed the authorities concerned to raise another issue before the job seekers that tens of thousands of workers will be required in the 100 industrial parks including the Mirsarai economic zone which are now being constructed at different places in the country.
"To get a job with a handsome income in the country, the jobseekers can be encouraged to build their capacity and take training based on the job requirements in the industrial parks," the premier said.
The meeting also endorsed the draft of the Bangladesh National Conservation Strategy 2021-2036, formulated in both Bengali and English in a bid to conserve the natural environment and resources properly.
Besides, the Cabinet approved the Import Policy Order, 2022-2025, aiming to make the policy a time-befitting one.
Permission to fell trees required even for privately owned properties
The cabinet approved in principle the draft of the Bangladesh Forest Industries Development Corporation Act, 2022, which includes the provision for obtaining mandatory government permission to cut large trees even on privately owned properties.
"Permanent trees are off-limits. But vegetable trees such as gourd trees can be felled if needed. People who plant permanent trees will not be allowed to cut them down as they wish. There are such rules in almost every country in the world," said the cabinet secretary.
"In Saudi Arabia and India, even a fallen tree cannot be cut from your private yard without the permission of the city corporation or authorities concerned. This law must be implemented," he urged.
"Apart from protected forests, other forest areas are also protected under the Act," he added.
The cabinet secretary said that instructions have been given out to take special protective measures for other forests besides the government-owned ones.
The cabinet also asked the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to launch a promotion campaign before implementing the provisions of the law.
90% Cabinet decisions implemented in three years
Around 90% of decisions taken by the Cabinet in the last three years from January 2019 to December 2021 have been executed while the implementation of the remaining decisions is underway.
During the period the cabinet took a total of 689 decisions, of which 615 decisions have been implemented and the execution of 74 others is underway, according to a report placed in the meeting on Monday.
In the three months from October 2021 to December 2021, the Cabinet took 56 decisions. Of them, 34 decisions have already been executed and the implementation of the remaining 22 is now underway.