The Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Dr. Umar Saif, has unveiled an exciting initiative. In February, a trial project is set to kick off, enabling 10,000 freelancers in Pakistan to receive payments via PayPal.
Despite the absence of direct PayPal services in Pakistan, an arrangement has been established to utilize a third-party for payment processing. Freelancers won’t be required to possess their own PayPal accounts; payments from individuals outside the country will be sent, and the funds will be directly allocated to the freelancers.
Dr. Saif emphasized the government’s effort to streamline processes for freelancers. Verification will only entail showcasing accounts on platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork. Additionally, a 50% dollar retention policy is being introduced, allowing freelancers to retain half of their earnings in dollars and providing a debit card for transactions.
In a bid to further support freelancers and entrepreneurs, the government is making substantial investments in E-Rozgaar centers across Pakistan, with plans for over 250 centers. These centers will offer interest-free loans and support for freelancing and entrepreneurship, targeting 40 centers to be operational by February 19, 2024.
Dr. Saif highlighted a standardized quality test scheduled for 75,000 IT graduates on January 15, leading to job opportunities through the Industry Placement Program. The government aims to provide international certification training for 16,000 individuals in technologies like Salesforce and Microsoft.
As a result of these initiatives, IT revenue in Pakistan has witnessed a 13% increase in the past month. Hassan Nasir Jami, the Federal IT Secretary, commended the efforts to boost IT exports and support freelancers, urging individuals to capitalize on the opportunities in Pakistan’s expanding IT sector.