Different organs of the government are leaving no stone unturned – from coordinating policy to training the youths - to deal with the rising unemployment rate and create opportunities for the expatriates at home in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
At least 21 lakh young people are entering job market in the country every year. Of these, only 6 to 7 lakh people are employed in both public and private sectors every year. As a result, a staggering amount of 14 lakh youths remain unemployed every year. At present, at least 1.5 crore people are unemployed.
Experts fear that the situation of the job market will deteriorate further owing to the ongoing pandemic.
Under such circumstances multi-dimensional initiatives are in place to tackle any untoward situation.
Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) has taken a fresh move to create young entrepreneurs. BIDA believes that people will become more interested in becoming an entrepreneur rather than seeking job in the post-Covid world.
BIDA is working towards creating 24,000 new entrepreneurs within this year. To this end, the government is implementing a project titled ‘Entrepreneur Creation and Skill Development’.
Apart from this, 15 lakh people will be trained under the ‘Skills for Employment Enhancement Program’ to be implemented by the National Skills Development Authority (NSDA).
NSDA has also undertaken several projects to create skilled manpower. To increase employment in the IT sector, 12 more IT parks and 6 IT training and incubation centers will be set up in the country.
However, these are not enough as the job market may experience a more unstable situation owing to the fact that many expatriates are returning to the country and waiting to enter the local job market.
South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM) Executive Director Dr Selim Raihan said while presenting the keynote paper at a virtual seminar, “As many expatriate workers are returning to the country permanently due to coronavirus, the government must take steps to assist them.”
Well, different initiatives have also been taken by the government to train expatriate workers who have already returned from abroad. If the situation improves, the scope of this training will broaden.
First of all, bank loans at a low interest rate will be provided to them so that they can create work opportunities for them.
Secondly, fresh initiatives will be undertaken through Probashi Kallyan Bank (PKB), which will help expatriate workers to be an entrepreneur.
Thirdly, in the new fiscal year, around Tk 2,000 crore will be distributed through Palli Sanchay Bank, PKB, Karmasangsthan Bank and Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) to widen the scope of employment and training for the left-out expatriate workers and youths.
In addition to all these, the government has announced a stimulus package of Tk 5,000 crore for the garment and export-oriented industries to alleviate temporary unemployment caused by Covid-19. Besides, a working capital loan facility of Tk 30,000 crore for the affected industries and services and Tk 20,000 crore for the SME sector have been introduced.
As all kinds of private investment have come to a halt due to the uncertainty created by coronavirus, the experts fear that unemployment rate may witness a rising trend in the graph in the coming days.
However, they have also expressed optimism that once the coronavirus situation comes under control, new employment opportunities will be created. At that time all the afore-mentioned initiatives will pay off.