The government has taken up an initiative to bring all the freelancers in the country under one platform.
As part of the move, the freelancers will be provided with identical smart IDs with their respective information, the information being not open to anybody outside their circle.
In January next year, the distribution of such NIDs will be inaugurated. Once the IDs become available, a freelancer will be able to identify himself or herself with one profession, involving a specific skill set.
To this end, the work on setting up a separate server is in progress.
Salman F Rahman, private industry and investment adviser to prime minister, said that the IDs will enable the freelancers to avail, primarily, three types of advantages, while adding in the way of explaining: they will get loan and cash incentives, and do not have to face any hassle in the income tax office as well.
“Youths are mainly working as freelancers. The value addition in this sector is 110 percent. Hence, the government has given the utmost priority to it,” Salman said.
The PM’s adviser was addressing a view-exchange meeting on identifying problems of freelancers and finding solutions to those at the office of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) in the capital on Thursday.
The global market of freelancing now stands at $1.5 trillion, of which Bangladesh has a stake amounting to $100 million only. However, five times more than this amount is coming in the country through freelancing, which is not in calculation, said the participants at the meeting.
Zunaid Ahmed Palak, the State Minister for ICT, proposed for naming the smart ID card as ‘Free ID’.
A working committee (consisting ICT Department, BIDA, Association of Bankers’ and the BFDS) will be formed to decide what else can be done to bring freelancers under a single platform, said PM’s Principal Secretary Nojibur Rahman.
Last year, freelancers brought home $46 million through banks, said Arfan Ali, president and chief executive officer of Bank Asia.
“In first eight months of this year, the freelancers have earned $50 million,” he said, adding that some six lakh transactions have been done so far.
For the development of freelancers, the BFDS signed two separate deals with ICT Department and Walton Group at the event.