ICT Division wants software, IT firms be treated as emergency services

“IT-related services are crucial to run official activities during lockdown.”

Staff Correspondent

11 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

ICT Division of the government requested the Cabinet Division to include software, IT-enabled services and outsourcing firms in the list of emergency services during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The letter was sent on April 4. The country is on a seven-day lockdown from April 5 as the number of infections surge.

The ICT Division said the categorizing of the IT-related services as “emergency” will help the economy run.

“IT-related services are crucial to run official activities during lockdown. The IT and ITeS sector provides services to both the government and private organizations. For this, the government should consider including the IT and ITeS in emergency services list,” said the letter.

The government is now planning a harsher lockdown for another seven days from April 14 to prevent the spread of the virus.

According to official data, around 90 percent of the government services are digitalized under the Digital Bangladesh vision.

ICT Division said the software and outsourcing companies maintain robust growths in the country’s export sector. It said the firms export their products to 60 countries around the world.

“Besides, the services of software companies are essential to ensure online services of financial and other organizations during the lockdown,” the division added.

Syed Almas Kabir, president at Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), said local firms are working with many foreign firms which are open.

“The global software market is also open now. Many Bangladeshi outsourcing firms are now working with foreign companies,” he told daily sun.

According to BASIS, Bangladesh’s export earnings from the IT and IT-enabled services stood at $1 billion a year now, growing towards the government’s target of annual earnings of $5 billion by 2024.