…𝑶𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒆𝒂𝒔 𝑨𝒈𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒐𝒏𝒍𝒚 𝒂𝒅𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒕𝒊𝒔𝒆 𝒋𝒐𝒃 𝒗𝒂𝒄𝒂𝒏𝒄𝒊𝒆𝒔 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑴𝒊𝒅𝒅𝒍𝒆 𝑬𝒂𝒔𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒐𝒇𝒇𝒆𝒓 𝒔𝒂𝒍𝒂𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒔 𝒆𝒒𝒖𝒂𝒍 𝒕𝒐 𝒐𝒓 𝒆𝒙𝒄𝒆𝒆𝒅𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝑵𝒖. 40000
Phurpa Wangmo & Sonam Deki
In an effort to safeguard the rights and well-being of Bhutanese youth seeking employment opportunities overseas, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Employment (MoICE) has introduced new salary criteria. Effective immediately, individuals aspiring to work abroad, particularly in the Middle East, must be offered a minimum salary of Nu. 40,000.
Recognizing the challenges and hardships faced by young individuals who venture overseas for employment, MoICE aims to ensure that their sacrifices are duly rewarded. As a result, overseas agents are now required to adhere to the criteria set by the ministry, advertising job vacancies in the Middle East only if they offer salaries equal to or exceeding Nu. 40,000.
MoICE Minister Karma Dorji emphasized that agents must comply with the new regulations. He further underscored that any agents failing to meet the established criteria will no longer be authorized to advertise job vacancies or recruit Bhutanese youth for overseas positions.
Thrinley Wangmo, currently employed in Kuwait, shared her experience, stating, “We receive separate allowances for accommodation, transportation, and meals from the company, and the remaining funds are at our discretion. It largely depends on our spending habits. At times, it becomes challenging to strike a balance, especially since we also need to remit money to our families back home. Therefore, we must judiciously manage the remaining amount to ensure our financial sustainability throughout the month.”
Another Bhutanese currently working in the Middle East expressed his view, saying, “We genuinely appreciate MoICE’s proactive initiatives aimed at assisting youth seeking employment in the Middle East. Unlike us, those who will arrive next year will have the privilege of enjoying a more comfortable life with sufficient funds. The amounts we currently receive barely cover our accommodation, transportation, and food expenses.”
Sonam Wangyel, a 24-year-old with aspirations of working in the Middle East, said, “As a Bhutanese youth with dreams of pursuing a career in the Middle East, MoICE’s introduction of the new salary criteria fills me with hope and excitement. It’s reassuring to know that our government is taking steps to protect our rights and well-being while working overseas. This initiative means that I can aspire to a brighter and more secure future, with the promise of fair compensation for my hard work. I’m genuinely appreciative of MoICE’s proactive efforts in ensuring that the sacrifices made by young individuals like me are duly rewarded. With these new regulations in place, I look forward to embarking on a fulfilling journey in the Middle East, with confidence that I’ll have the financial stability I need to support both myself and my family back home.”
Cheki, from Trashigang, who is currently working in the Middle East, shared her perspective on her financial situation. “While our salaries are sufficient for our needs, the rising expenses make it challenging to support our parents. Nonetheless, we are grateful for the additional benefits and occasional incentives that allow us to assist our families and siblings. It brings us joy knowing that our friends who plan on joining us in the Middle East will receive even higher incomes, and we remain hopeful that our company will also raise our salaries accordingly.”
Similarly, Karma, a young Bhutanese preparing to venture into overseas employment opportunities, said, “MoICE’s recent introduction of a new salary criterion is a game-changer for Bhutanese youths aspiring to build careers in the Middle East. It’s a source of great optimism for us, knowing that our government is actively working to protect our rights and welfare as we seek employment opportunities abroad. This initiative signifies not just a job opportunity but the promise of a brighter and more prosperous future. With these regulations in place, I eagerly anticipate the chance to work in the Middle East, knowing that I’ll receive fair compensation for my efforts. MoICE’s proactive approach instills confidence in the path ahead, ensuring that the sacrifices we make are appropriately recognized.”
At present, the Middle East boasts a workforce of over 8,000 Bhutanese individuals, each contributing to the region’s diverse labor landscape.