The caretaker minister for IT and Telecom announced the official policy on Wednesday to establish approximately 10,000 e-job centres across the country, catering to freelancers who often lack a proper workplace.

Dr Umar Saif stated in a Twitter post that there are about 1.5 million freelancers regularly working in Pakistan. He emphasised that facilitating freelancers is essential for improving their work performance and efficiency.

“If we can facilitate one million freelancers, their earnings will increase to around $10 billion annually,” he said, adding that with the other measures already taken including permission to retain up to 50% of their export earnings and easy mode of receiving their payments the freelance activities are expected to grow in the country. The Ministry of IT and Telecom identified that a majority of freelancers are from smaller cities and towns, and female IT experts are predominantly from remote areas where job opportunities in their field are scarce.

Read 10,000 e-Rozgar Centres to be set up for freelancers

Acknowledging that many freelancers lack necessary facilities like a proper work environment and fast internet at home, Saif mentioned that under the new policy, e-Rozgar centres would be equipped with all essential amenities, each having a capacity for 100 people to work.

The scheme involves providing interest-free loans to building owners willing to convert their properties into e-Rozgar centres, with the capacity to accommodate 100 people.

According to the caretaker minister, the e-Rozgar centres’ most crucial aspect will be networking and connectivity among freelancers, fostering an atmosphere that supports them in pursuing high-end projects.

Saif also highlighted the caretaker government’s performance, noting that they have taken 13 major steps in the last four months to boost the IT and telecom sector.

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