Freelancers demand govt backing | The Express Tribune

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ISLAMABAD:

Freelancers and digital marketers have urged the government to make freelancing economy part of the national agenda to increase their footprint in the global market and give a boost to the foreign exchange reserves.

They have sought the backing of the government and want it to incorporate their input into the freelancing policy in a bid to tap the full potential of the global freelancing market, which will help to repay the country’s loans.

The total market for the freelancers has been reported at $1.5 trillion. Around 77 million freelancers are currently operating.

They said Pakistan could get rid of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan packages if the government promoted the freelancers like India did to boost its foreign exchange earnings.

Speaking at the launching ceremony of an incubator, Pakistan’s top-rated blogger and freelancer by World Bank Tanveer Nandla said making money online through freelancing was a legitimate source of income for the youth.

Nandla’s students are bringing $115 million every year from the global market through freelancing
and blogging.

Talking to The Express Tribune, he said that the only immediate solution to the poverty and unemployment was to support the freelancers.

He stressed that the government should encourage the freelancers and recognise their efforts, who were bringing billions of dollars to Pakistan every year, to tap the full potential of the global market.

“Pakistan needs dollars and freelancers can bring them if the government makes this sector part of the national agenda and the future development plan,” he remarked.

Nandla pointed out that the government was giving cash to people through the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), adding that at the same time it should launch a programme under the BISP to give laptops to those who had freelancing skills but did not have the money to buy laptops.

“At present, the youth are learning skills to become freelancers but they don’t have laptops,” he said.

Another famous freelancer and mentor Rehan Allahwala said that Pakistan had 70 million young people, who had done only matriculation.

Any young man having graphic skills could earn $500 per month on a freelance platform. Rather than going to the IMF, World Bank and friendly countries for assistance, the government should go to their people to motivate them as they could bring dollars to repay the country’s loans, he emphasised.

“If 10 million people, who account for only 5% of the total population, start earning $500 per month, they can bring $120 billion annually,” he said. “The government should take up this as its national agenda to motivate and build trust in people.”

He was of the view that the government should also launch a countrywide campaign to promote the freelancers, who were bringing handsome money to Pakistan. “This will help the youth to motivate more people to make money from the freelancing market.”

He suggested that the government should make IT skills part of the educational curriculum at the lower level to educate and train the children.

Another Pakistan’s top freelancer Hisham Sarwar said that the children should learn IT skills that could help them to start work on the freelancing platform.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, July 3rd, 2022.

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