Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday called for a ‘vigorous worldwide response’ with the participation of all countries to combat the adverse impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the migrants as she placed a three-point suggestion to this end.
‘The virus does not discriminate but its adverse impacts severely discriminates against the vulnerable, especially the migrants and women workers,’ she told a virtual global summit of the International Labour Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland.
Sheikh Hasina added, ‘I must say that a vigorous, well-coordinated and world-wide response with the participation of all countries, international organizations, civil society organisations and private sector is needed now.’
The three point- suggestion placed by the prime minister at the event titled ‘ILO’s Global Leaders Day’ are:
Firstly: Jobs of migrant workers at the overseas markets must be retained during this crisis.
Secondly: In case of lay-off, compensation and other dismissal benefits must be paid in full along with ensuring their safety and health benefits.
Thirdly: After the pandemic, these workers would have to be recruited for reactivating the economy.
Sharing Bangladesh’s experiences and measures on how the country is dealing with the crisis, the prime minister said Bangladesh deeply appreciates ILO’s all endeavours.
‘I’m happy to join this event on ILO’s ‘Global Leaders’ Day’ during the global COVID-19 pandemic that has affected our nations, especially our workers the most,’ she said.
Meanwhile, the prime minister said diplomatic efforts were underway to keep intact the overseas jobs of expatriate Bangladeshis amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
‘We’ve kept up our diplomatic strides so that the expatriate Bangladeshis, who are now abroad, could continue with their jobs,’ she said, adding that the ministers concerned had held discussions in this regard.
The prime minister said this while responding to a supplementary question from ruling party lawmaker Benazir Ahmed during her scheduled question-answer session in parliament.
Sheikh Hasina said that her government had been continuing discussions with each and every country concerned in this regard while the expatriates welfare and overseas employment ministry and the ministry of foreign affairs are jointly working together in this regard.
She said the foreign minister had already discussed with his counterparts of the OIC countries where a proposal had been put forward to create a fund while Bangladesh has already created a fund of its own to this end.
Besides, the leader of the house said, the government had been providing special stimulus to those legal expatriate Bangladeshis who were returning home through arranging some loans for them so that they could maintain their livelihood.
In this context, she mentioned about the Tk 2,000 crore incentive package from where the interested returnees could take loan at 4 per cent interest from the Expatriates Welfare Bank, Palli Sanchay Bank, Karmasangsthan Bank and PKSF.
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