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Freelancers Will Finally Receive 10% Cash Aid 

Bangladesh has finally released statements that freelancers are going to receive 10% assistance with cash amount against export service earnings. There are obviously conditions applied but this is a huge step. This will be helping one of the biggest contributors of income in the country’s economy.

Bangladeshi Freelancers Will Finally Receive 10% Cash Aid

According to Salman F Rahman, Advisor of private industry and investment adviser to the honourable prime minister of Bangladesh, “How freelancers would prove this is now being finalized.” 2 years ago it had been announced that the same incentive as the ICT industry will be given out for the freelance industry. But it had not been implemented back then because of the finance ministry’s opposition.

According to officials from the Finance Ministry and Bangladesh Bank, Zunaid Ahmed Palak, the ICT State Minister, had proposed the idea of implementation of 10% cash aid to freelancers, to the governor of the Central Bank- Fazle Kabir. He had consulted with the Finance Ministry back then and the idea was rejected. The decision came through after the involvement of Salman F. Rahman. 

The decision was finalized last month and finalized by recommendation of 10% cash aid with conditions applied. The central Bank is set to re4lease a circular regarding this matter. The initial recommendations during the discussion period was to provide 2% aid keeping similarities with remittance earning from expatriates. 

Then there was the issue of freelancers not having office spaces and an uncertainty factor surrounding whether or not they can provide documentation regarding export services. But freelance workers have notified that service export is way more valuable, especially given the current pandemic situation. 

Freelancing may even hold even more importance in the economy than goods export since it is at an advantage of not having to import raw materials, rather dependant on human resource and labour. This is especially why it does not make sense to draw parallels with remittances. Free4lance services are much more similar to export services, hence, a 10% cash aid seems appropriate to pursue. 

Salman Rahman said, 

“There were about 10 lac freelancers across the country that are utilizing the advantages of Digital Bangladesh to earn foreign currency even by living in villages. Many educated graduates were choosing freelancing as a profession after receiving training. Freelancers had complications in opening bank accounts. The government has now removed those and is also giving them identities through registrations. A 10% cash incentive will create huge employment and will add a new dimension to service exports,”

According to the central bank, 

“$265 million in export earnings came through banking channels in the ICT services; IT-enabled services, including business process outsourcing, software and computer consultancy services; sector in the last fiscal year.”

Freelancers had not received any financial aid although they export these services and bring in foreign currency income. The Bangladesh Bank and the Export Promotion Bureau are known to not have detailed information regarding freelance income amount. Therefore, its time the accounts are calculated and added to the national income as their service have definitely benefitted the economy for the better and contributed in the development in the past decade.

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