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Palak: More than half a million freelancers will get virtual ID cards

  • Published at 12:05 pm September 21st, 2020
File photo of State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak Collected

Freelancers are helping to turn the country from labour-intensive to talent and technology-based economy, says Palak

State Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Zunaid Ahmed Palak has said the government will provide "virtual cards" to freelancers which would give identity to some 650,000 self-employed professionals in Bangladesh.

“The freelancers will get virtual identity cards soon as they are helping to turn the country from labour-intensive to talent and technology-based economy,” he said at an online program on freelancing career in Dhaka on Sunday night.

The initiative will help them to get their professional identity along with access to getting bank loan and working facilities in the high-tech park as freelancing is predominant in music, writing, acting, computer programming, web design, graphic design, translating, and illustrating, film and video production as well as other forms of piece work.

Palak said the government is always enhancing cooperation with these kinds of professionals as the youths are mostly involved here.

Bangladesh supplies 16% of the total online workers, the second highest after India which provides 24%, according to the 2017 Online Labour Index of Oxford Internet Institute.

Rapid digitalization spurred the growth of this sector and insiders say many youths now opted for freelancing, outsourcing and e-commerce.

South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (Sanem) said the informal sector employs, around 89% of the total employed youths in Bangladesh, and disruption of economic activities due to the pandemic are affecting 20 million youths.

Stakeholders said the government should give financial aid to the workers who lost their jobs.

Mentioning that Bangladesh has more than 600,000 freelancers, according to the market insiders, they said: “We’ll have a billion dollar market in future. So, the government has to bring some basic changes through proper planning and support for the workers.”

They also demanded inclusion under the stimulus packages for Small and Medium Entrepreneurs.

Moderated by Freelancer Sultan Hossen Nir, Bangladesh Freelancer Development Society (BFDS)’s General Secretary Mahfuzur Rahman and top rated freelancer Fahimul Karim spoke at the program, among others.

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