Muscat: The National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) has recorded a drop of 0.2 per cent in the number of Indian expatriate workers registered with the Directorate General of Civil Status by the end of April 2013.
According to NCSI, there were some 607,556 Indian workers followed by 462,725 Bangladeshi and 222,880 Pakistani workers registered with the Directorate General of Civil Status by the end of April 2013. The number of Sri Lankan workers stood at 12,431.
However, at the end of March 2013, the number of Indian workers stood at 608,635. There was a 4.1-per cent rise in Ethiopian workers, where 38,915 people were registered with the Directorate General of Civil Status in April and by the end of March, this number was 37,394.
The NCSI report also observed there were 1,488,116 expatriate workers in the Sultanate, of which 1,328,453 workers were male and 159,663 were female at the end of April 2013. The report also showed that 53,466 expatriate workers are employed in the government sector, while 1,220,579 workers are employed in the private sector in Oman. There was also a 1.3 per cent rise in Bangladeshi workers in April 2013 compared to March 2013. But at the end of April 2013, the number of Bangladeshi workers stood at 462,725, whereas until the end of March, they had stood at 456,800.
Largest annual migration
Around 5,000 to 10,000 Bangladeshi workers are arriving every month — a trend that started last year and is possibly the largest annual migration of Bangladeshi workers into the Sultanate ever since they started looking for jobs in this part of the world.
Currently, there are around 1.3 million Bangladeshi workers in the Gulf working on salaries ranging between OMR60 and 200 (OMR1 = Taka 212).
Sources said an increasing number of Bangladeshi workers have started getting jobs following the visit by Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni last year. "A lot of skilled farmers were provided visas because they know the proper use of fertilisers and pesticides and they can be helpful in doubling the food production in Oman over the next 10 years," an expert said.
Also, the opening of five more sectors to foreigners has created plenty of job opportunities for Bangladeshis in Oman.
In February 2011, the country offered jobs for Bangladeshis related to sales and distribution, beauty parlours, maintenance of electrical equipment and computers, tailoring, and barber shops, along with 10 other occupations that had been restricted by Oman in 2009 as part of its goal to recruit more locals to cut down on unemployment.
Besides, the construction workers and gardeners, Oman recruits managers, engineers, electronic technicians, broadcasters, carpenters, painters and mechanics from Bangladesh.
It also hires launderers, glass fixers, decorators, publicity advertisement agents, blacksmiths, electricians, plumbers, electricians for programmed machines, welders, carpet fixers, curtain tailors, and masseurs.
"Now, the government is also trying to push for more and more Bangladeshi doctors and engineers," the official stated.