U Win Shein, director general of the Department of Labour, said there are ongoing talks with employment agencies on how much the licence fees would be increased.
“We are looking to increase the licence fees to K25 million (US$17,000),” he said.
There are 260 Myanmar employment agencies sending workers to Thailand, Singapore and Japan. They pay the government K5 million in licence fees each and another K5 million each to the Thai government.
U Kyaw Htin, an executive of the Myanmar Overseas Employment Agencies Federation (MOEAF), confirmed the ongoing talks to raise the fee.
“They want to collect K20 million more,” he said. “What will we do if the government issues a notice even though we are not okay with it.”
The latest meeting between labour officials and representatives of employment agencies was held on Wednesday in Nay Pyi Taw.
At present Myanmar sends workers to 18 countries, with Thailand as the top destination for migrant workers. Last year, more than 700,000 migrant workers were registered in the kingdom, according to the Thai government and tens of thousands more are illegal workers.
Last year, Thailand deported over 70,000 Myanmar migrant workers who did not have valid travel and working documents.
Due to lack of job opportunities in the country, thousands of Myanmar workers try their luck abroad. Data from the government showed that up to 1000 migrant workers leave for Thailand every day.TOP IMAGE: Migrant workers queue during a migrant laborer registration in Samut Sakhon province in Thailand in March 2018. Photo - EPA