Formulate policy to cut reliance on foreign experts, workers

Formulate policy to cut reliance on foreign experts, workers
Economists yesterday suggested the government formulate policies on creating skilled workforce for different sectors to lessen the huge sum of money being drained out of your country due to hiring of foreigners.

Each year over $4 billion is remitted from the country as salaries and allowances of foreign skilled workforce, said Rushidan Islam Rahman, executive chairperson of the Centre for Development and Employment Research (CDER).

"We are paying remittance for skilled foreign staff and Bangladesh is sending unskilled staff abroad. We must formulate a policy to avoid paying such a huge amount of remittance by creating skilled workforce locally," she said.

Rahman was speaking after presenting a paper on "Is Bangladesh over-dependent on overseas employment" at a discussion on the "Bangladesh Employment and Labour Market Watch 2019: Sector challenges and opportunities" at the Policy Research Institute (PRI) in Dhaka.

Economists, government high-ups, researchers and university professors attended the discussion.

Mainly ceos and managers used in local and multinational companies were removing $5-6 billion each year as remittance, said M Syeduzzaman, a former finance minister.

The government allows foreign staff here to eliminate 75 percent of their wage as remittance, he said.

"We have to have some programmes to create skilled workforce in order to reduce such big levels of money being remitted out each year," Syeduzzaman said.

In Bangladesh, entrepreneurs aren't being encouraged to choose manufacturing, said Farooq Ahmed, secretary general of the Bangladesh Employers Federation.

So, the entrepreneurs feel encouraged to go for trade-based businesses, he said.

"We are in need of several labour-intensive sectors to create more jobs. Incentives are paid discriminately and some select sectors benefit from the government benefit," said Rizwanul Islam, senior visiting fellow of the CDER and a distinguished fellow at the PRI.

Prof Shamsul Alam, senior secretary of the overall Economics Division at the Planning Commission, urged district level technical training centres to play a essential role in producing skilled workforce.

Planning Minister MA Mannan said a 7-per cent monetary growth over a period of eight to 10 years was impressive. "We will really be an economically developed country by 2040," he said.
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