Migrants’ return from Oman in limbo | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 26, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:46 AM, April 26, 2021

Migrants’ return from Oman in limbo

Oman's decision to suspend air communication with Bangladesh is likely to jeopardise the return of about 20,000 to 25,000 Bangladeshi migrant workers to the Gulf country, according to Oikya Parishad.

The migrant workers have come to Bangladesh on vacation, Oikya Parishad, a platform of recruiting agencies, said yesterday.

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Besides, the decision will also delay the process of about 5,000 to 7,000 Omani employment visas obtained by different recruiting agencies at present, it said.

M Tipu Sultan, president of the platform, said many of the migrant workers have a few days of their vacations left while many others have issues related to iqama expiry.

He urged the expatriates' welfare minister and foreign minister to take effective steps in resuming flight operation with the Gulf country immediately.

"Oman is a big labour market for us," Tipu told this newspaper over the phone.

Meanwhile, media reports said that Oman has barred the entry of travellers from Bangladesh as well as India and Pakistan, effective on April 24, as a continuing precaution against the spread of coronavirus.

"The ban 'begins at 6:00pm on Saturday [April 24, 2021] and continues till further notice," Arab News reported on Thursday, citing Oman News Agency.

In a video message, Tipu Sultan also said that they were unable to continue visa procedure since different foreign mission offices, including the Saudi Arabian embassy in Dhaka, remained closed amid "strict lockdown".

Moreover, other government and private offices related to the labour migration sector remained closed which hindered taking full advantage of the government decision to run special international flights, he added.

He urged the government to keep the labour migration sector out of its Covid-19 restriction measures.

He also said the price of plane tickets on different international routes has gone "out of control" at present, adding the authorities should look into the matter seriously.

"We expect a 'labour fare'. Hopefully, the government will take initiative in this regard," he said.


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