Trigger Presentation by: Rahnuma Salam Khan, Deputy Chief, Ministry of Planning
Chair: Dr. Selim Raihan, Professor, Department of Economics, University of Dhaka
Dr. M.A. Razzaque, Research Director, Policy Research Institute
Shariful Hasan, Programme Head, Migration Programme at BRAC
Dr. Ananya Raihan, Chief Executive Officer, Infolady Social Enterprise Limited
“Rent seeking activities must be controlled,” said Dr. M.A. Razzaque, Research Director, Policy Research Institute in ESC Dialogue Episode 3, a panel discussion session organized by Economics Study Center, University of Dhaka. Chaired by Dr. Selim Raihan, Professor, Department of Economics, University of Dhaka, the discussion focused on “The Cost of Migration: Overseas Employment Scenario for Bangladesh.”
Dr. Razzaque highlights the importance of using economic theory to identify which remedial measures to take in Bangladesh where migration cost is highest in the world but earnings are lowest.
“Illegal visa trading is distorting the market,” said Rahnuma Salam Khan, Deputy Chief, Ministry of Planning in her trigger presentation. The presentation focused on the gap between the actual cost and estimated average cost of migration, and the factors behind this imperfect market. She used behavioral economics to explain that aspirant migrants are often developing false expectations that they will be better off in the receiving countries and this induces them to migrate despite the high costs.
“Migration has become an indicator of success in this country”, said panelist Shariful Hasan, Programme Head, Migration Programme at BRAC. The mismanagement in the market is present because there’s no official mechanism for migrants to follow. The demo offices established by the government across the country are totally dysfunctional.
Another panelist Dr. Ananya Raihan, Chief Executive Officer, Infolady Social Enterprise Limited believes that even if they have adequate information, there’s lack of confidence or empowerment to apply that knowledge. This gives rise to the need for well-regulated agencies. He said, “If we cannot track all the middle men involved in the process, we cannot calculate the true cost of migration.”
The chair, Dr. Selim Raihan concluded the session by saying that we need to understand the climate related issues that add further pressure for workers to migrate. Government intervention is absolutely necessary to build adequate skills of the country’s labour force.
Held in RC Majumdar Arts Auditorium, Lecture Theatre Building, University of Dhaka, it was the third episode of the student body’s signature panel discussion event, ESC Dialogue. The organizers hope that ESC will continue facilitating such discourse on pressing socio-economic issues related to Bangladesh by engaging the youth.