UK MPs pledge fair immigration law
Wednesday, 08 October 2008

Visiting British MPs have promised a "fair and transparent" immigration system that will help the UK curry industry, run and owned mostly by Bangladeshis, reports

The industry leaders say they are currently facing a shortage of skilled people.
The British MPs told the official press launch of the 5th British Fusion Food Festival in Dhaka Monday that a restructured system would aim to help both economies.
Top British Bangladeshi chefs are going to showcase their food creations at the Nov 13-16 festival organised by Curry Life Magazine and Dhaka Sheraton Hotel.
Four chefs selected through a competition would travel to Dhaka to take part in the festival.
There are currently about 12,000 'Indian Restaurants' in Britain, a far cry from the day Sake Dean Mahomed opened the first curry house in London in 1809.
People of Bangladeshi origin run most of these restaurants, which serve more than 3 million customers every year.
A parliamentary delegation from the UK's home affair committee led by Keith Vaz, MP and chair of British home affairs select committee launched the festival.
In his speech, Vaz termed the festival more than just one of food but also a symbol of solidarity between British and Bangladeshi people.
Referring to the shortage of skills of the £4.2 billion industry, Vaz said that they are working towards making the UK immigration system "a fair, open and transparent one".
"We are having an open meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) in Sylhet so that we can actually hear about the problems from the people themselves," he added.
Karen Buck, MP for Regent's Park and Kensington North, echoed the skills shortage issue and said that the immigration system would be structured in a way so that it could help the industry to contribute to the British and Bangladeshi economies.
Festival director Syed Belal Ahmed said that their aim was to promote and support Bangladeshi restaurants, chefs, food-producers and suppliers by providing a platform to exhibit, create and perform.
"Good food can unite people, and in that regard Britain and Bangladesh are no exceptions. This is a great way to celebrate the friendship of the two countries."
He urged the UK delegation to resolve the immigration issue so that the restaurant owners can get skilled people from Bangladesh.
The industry is facing a threat from new immigration laws including a newly introduced point-based system, which came into force in February.
The British government has stopped issuing visas for the low-skilled workers since 2006.
Syed Nahas Pasha, editor of Curry Life magazine, Dhaka Sheraton's marketing chief Mahfuzur Rahman and country director of Etihad Airways Ahraful Kabir also spoke on the occasion

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