In a bid to encourage the freelance sector, the government has decided to increase the limit of payments they can receive.
According to details, the Prime Minister has directed the State Bank of Pakistan to increase the monthly limit of receiving payments from $5,000 to $25,000.
The prime minister was presiding over a review meeting regarding the implementation of the e-commerce policy. The prime minister was given a detailed briefing on the progress regarding the implementation of the policy.
Prime Minister stated that eliminating hurdles for the business community, creating a conducive environment and helping youth utilize their capabilities are the foremost priorities of the government.
Since e-commerce is an important contributor to the country’s economy, the introduction of the e-commerce policy was aimed at providing ease of doing business to the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), he added.
Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Finance secretary, National Information Technology Board (NITB) Chairman and senior officers of the Ministry of Commerce, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Pakistan Post attended the meeting.
The prime minister directed SBP and Ministry of Finance to remove hurdles in the implementation of the e-commerce policy and make it beneficial for earnings by freelancers, as well as the educated and technology-expert youth.
Abdul Razzaq Dawood tweeted that the upper limit for freelancers will now be $25,000, and an international payment gateway with an Escrow account will be established to facilitate exports.
There are around 300,000 freelancers working mainly in the IT sector in Pakistan. The increase in the limit to $25,000 from $5000 will result in a significant surge in freelance payments.
The PM was told during the meeting that along with the formation of the International Payment Gateway, work is also being done on the creation of a Merchant Payment Gateway so that not only are the exporters facilitated, but the local business community will also be entertained.
The Prime Minister further directed the SBP and finance minister to consider a proposal of enhancing the current limit of $5,000 foreign remittances. In December 2019, the inflows of workers’ remittances amounted to $2.097 billion, a seven month high since May 2019.
Regarding the easy and economical transportation of goods under the e-commerce policy, the prime minister directed Pakistan Post to implement a tracking system in the postal network to ensure the transportation of goods within the country and abroad at international standards.
He further directed that proposals regarding tax concessions on cash-on-delivery and digital transactions should also be pondered over.
The prime minister was told by the Commerce Division that e-commerce policy will not only help create job opportunities, promote SMEs, augment foreign investment, empower women and boost the country’s exports but will also provide ample development opportunities to the youth and entrepreneurs.
He was told that all the stakeholders including the private sector have been consulted on the implementation of e-commerce policy, and the private sector has not only welcomed the policy but has also expressed keen interest in the roadmap of implementing the policy.
For the implementation of the policy, a comprehensive and detailed strategy is being formed with the formation of an E-Commerce Export Platform under progress.