At the recent Tech Destination Pakistan event, Dr. Umar Saif, the Caretaker Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication, shared some exciting news. Starting in February, a pilot project will help 10,000 freelancers in Pakistan receive payments through PayPal.
Dr. Saif explained that even though PayPal won’t directly operate in Pakistan, an agreement has been made to allow payments through a third-party arrangement. Freelancers won’t have to go through the usual process of opening a PayPal account. Instead, individuals outside Pakistan will make payments from their existing PayPal accounts, and the money will quickly go to the freelancers.
To make things easier for freelancers, the government has simplified the process of opening bank accounts. Freelancers only need to show proof of having accounts on platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, Elance, Toptal, or Crossover.
Dr. Saif introduced a significant policy change for freelancers in the IT industry – a 50% dollar retention policy. This means freelancers can keep half of their earnings in dollars and get a debit card to spend this money locally or internationally.
The government has allocated funds to create E-Rozgaar centers across Pakistan, aiming to offer excellent facilities, enhance productivity, and strengthen the country’s digital landscape.
As part of this program, over 250 E-Rozgaar Pakistan centers will be set up through collaborations between the government and private entities, encouraging freelancing and entrepreneurship in Pakistan.
Dr. Saif also highlighted decisions to improve IT education, including a standardized quality test for 75,000 IT graduates on January 15. Successful candidates will be offered job opportunities through the Industry Placement Program. The government is allocating funds to support industry-specific courses in universities, ensuring that students are well-prepared for current industry trends.
Additionally, the government plans to provide training for 16,000 individuals in international certifications, ensuring a skilled workforce in areas such as Salesforce, Cisco, Microsoft, and Oracle financials. Federal IT Secretary Hassan Nasir Jami emphasized the ministry’s dedication to developing the IT ecosystem, encouraging entrepreneurs, students, and developers to take advantage of the available opportunities in this evolving landscape.