The IT Ministry’s New Policy Aims to Help Freelancers Earn $5 Billion a Year

The National Freelancing Facilitation Policy has been submitted to the Federal Cabinet for approval by the Ministry of IT and Telecom.

The goal of the policy, which was created following in-depth discussions with pertinent parties, is to establish Pakistan as a major player in the global freelance market, boosting exports and foreign exchange profits.

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The policy, backed by a strong marketing and promotional plan, will give freelancers access to global markets, projects, and clients, according to the IT Ministry. The aim of the proposed fiscal and non-fiscal incentives is to stimulate the freelancing industry by raising the average annual earnings to $5,000 and the number of active freelancers to one million.

This might generate $5 billion in export-related remittance inflows, elevating Pakistan to the status of a major hub for freelancers.

The establishment of a freelancer registry via a specific portal is one of the policy’s main components, as it will make communication with national and international markets and regulatory bodies easier. The policy suggests low-interest loans for freelancers, digital banking, e-payments, and a transparent governance model and framework. Furthermore, an income tax holiday would be advantageous for freelancers who are registered.

The policy places a strong emphasis on creating an environment that is ready for the digital age and encouraging the use of learning and skill-building techniques. The goal of training and capacity building initiatives is to improve human resource competencies. To encourage inclusivity, special programmes are being planned for Southern Balochistan’s underprivileged districts and areas.

Digital banking channels, visa facilitation, and a desk for freelancers are advised. To support freelancers, banks are urged to open technology business branches in at least six Pakistani cities. Together with relevant organizations, the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) will offer subsidized, collateral-free loans up to Rs. 1 million as well as employee liability, health, and life insurance through subsidies.

Additional actions include extending until 2030 the income tax holiday for freelancers who are registered, initiating new programmes for technology certification and training, and expediting inward foreign exchange remittances using specific codes that are exempt from income tax.

Additionally, the policy aims to facilitate the opening of foreign exchange bank accounts for freelancers, permitting them to retain more than half of their foreign exchange earnings in these accounts.

The Federal Board of Revenue and the Ministry of Finance will collaborate with the PSEB to guarantee that these remittances are tax-exempt through 2030.

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