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Keep single instalment with minimum premium provision

Opine experts on outbound workers’ insurance

FE Report | December 27, 2017 00:00:00

Stakeholders including the rights activists suggested the government on Tuesday to keep the provision of single instalment with minimum premium in the proposed insurance products for the outbound workers to protect their interest.

Their other suggestions included making contracts with well-performing and high-ranking companies as well as analysing their capacity to properly provide benefit to the workers residing abroad.

They placed their recommendations at a meeting on the draft insurance scheme, held at Probashi Kalyan Bhaban in the city.

A working group with the relevant stakeholders, including representatives of Ministry of Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment (MoEWOE), private manpower recruiters, Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET), Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA) and civil society, should be formed to monitor the services of insurance companies, they added.

With the incorporation of these suggestions, the proposed insurance scheme will be finalised shortly, said officials concerned.

MoEWOE Minister Nurul Islam, Secretary Nomita Halder, representatives from IDRA and Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies, among others, were present at the programme.

Shariful Hasan, programme head of Migration at BRAC, who was present at the meeting, told the FE: "It is a good decision to bring the migrant workers under insurance coverage. But it should be hassle-free and risk-free."

It may be difficult for the workers to give money separately as premium for their insurance schemes. So the money should be taken from the welfare fee, given by them while taking manpower clearance.

He further said the insurance companies, which will provide schemes to the workers, will get a huge number of clients at a time. So it will not be difficult for them to keep the premium at a minimum level.

"So I suggested in the meeting to keep the premium at a minimum level and take it once," he added.

Pervez Siddiqui, chairman at Films for Peace Foundation, said the experiences of getting benefits from the insurance products is not very good in the country. So the authority concerned should be more cautious in introducing the schemes for the migrant workers.

He said it is a complex issue. At first it is needed to analyse capability of the insurance companies whether they can do it or not.

The meeting suggested offering the insurance products ranging from Tk 300,000 to Tk 500,000, considering the workers' income and choice.

According to the officials, the insurance scheme with life and non-life facilities will be made mandatory for all the outbound workers. It will help them many ways at home and in their job destination countries.

Each day 5,000 workers will be brought under the scheme after introducing it, the officials also said.

MoEWOE additional secretary Mohammad Azharul Huq moderated the programme, while Rahnuma Khan, national programme officer of ILO, was also present.

According to the data of BMET, so far 10 million Bangladeshi workers have secured job abroad since 1976. Of the total, nearly 0.7 million are women workers.

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