The migrant workers who have recently returned home jobless amid Covid-19 will get loans at 4 percent interest rate from the Tk200-crore fund of Wage Earners' Welfare Board for their rehabilitation.
Probashi Kallyan Bank will distribute the loans. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on Sunday in this regard, said a press release of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry.
"The welfare board will give Tk200 crore in loan to the bank without interest. The bank will disburse it to returnee expatriates and families of migrant workers who have died amid the pandemic," according to the MoU.
The loan disbursement and management activities will be completed as per a prepared policy. And, various stakeholders will be involved with the help of the local administration to ensure quick, efficient and transparent debt management activities, read the release.
Md Shahidul Alam, additional secretary of the expatriates' welfare and overseas employment ministry, said a returnee will be able to borrow Tk1-5 lakh from the fund.
Md Hamidur Rahman, director general (DG) of the Wage Earners' Welfare Board, said the loan disbursement process will start from Wednesday (July 15).
A returnee can take out a loan for any of around 30 sectors, including fisheries, poultry, livestock and agriculture, he also said.
Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmed was present at the deal signing event as the chief guest.
He said the fund has been managed to ensure a sustainable rehabilitation of the returnee migrants. Apart from this fund, there is another big fund of Tk500 crore to be available for them from the government-declared stimulus package.
The MoU signing programme was held in the conference room of the ministry. Mahtab Zabin, managing director of Probashi Kallyan Bank, and Md Hamidur Rahman, DG of Wage Earners' Welfare Board, signed the MoU on behalf of their respective sides.
Among others, Dr Ahmed Munirus Saleheen, secretary of the ministry, and Begum Shamsun Nahar, chairman of the bank, were present at the event.
According to Brac Migration Programme, around 7 lakh Bangladeshis returned home from different countries between January and March this year. Around 2-2.5 lakh of them were migrant workers.
After a nationwide shutdown began in late March, around 16,000 more came back till mid-June through special flights.