Cash assistance for 2 lakh migrants repatriated on cards

The government will provide a grant of 13,500 Tk to each of the 2,000,000 migrant workers who have lost their jobs and returned to the country following the Covid pandemic since March 2020.

One-time cash assistance will be provided to returning migrant workers under a project titled “Restoring and Promoting Employment in the Informal Sector: Reintegration of Returning Migrants” of the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare. and employment abroad.

The head of the planning wing of the ministry, A Khaleque Mullick, said on Tuesday that the project is expected to be approved by the executive committee of the National Economic Council at a meeting today.

The Wage Earners Welfare Board, which reports to the ministry, will implement the project from January 2021 to December 2023, he said.

About Tk 270 crore would be needed for the one-time cash assistance program under the proposed Tk 427 crore project, officials from the Wage Earners Welfare Board said.

Repatriated migrant workers will be selected from 32 districts where the number of such workers is high, officials said.

Dhaka, Noakhali, Chattogram, Munshiganj, Faridpur, Chandpur, Feni and Gopalganj are among the districts.

In addition to one-time cash assistance, the Wage Earners Welfare Board will identify 23,500 skilled workers among the 2,000,000 repatriated migrant workers and send the skilled workers back overseas for jobs.

The Wage Earners Welfare Board will also help repatriated migrant workers obtain loans from banks and non-bank financial institutions as part of their reintegration under the project.

A database of repatriated workers will also be prepared under the same project and will be financed by loans from the World Bank.

The World Bank has already approved $ 200 million in loans to support involuntary return migrant workers and low-income urban youth affected by the current pandemic, officials from the Economic Relations Division said.

Officials said about a quarter of the loans would be used for the implementation of the project under the Wage Earners Welfare Board and the rest to provide microcredit in rural areas by the Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation, owned by the ‘State.

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