ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said the youths are Pakistan’s strength and that his government will ensure that they are gainfully employed.
He said this while chairing a meeting to review the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme here on Wednesday.
At the meeting, Mr Sharif was briefed about the salient features of the programme and informed that around half a million suggestions had been received from the public, some of which had been incorporated in the schemes.
The Prime Minister’s Youth Programme consists of six schemes including Qarz-i-Hasana (Micro Interest-Free Loans), Small Business Loans, Youth Training Scheme, Youth Skills Development Scheme, Provision of Laptops and Scheme for Reimbursement of Fee for Students of less developed areas.
The prime minister directed that 50 per cent loans should be reserved for women in the Micro Interest-Free Loans scheme and the procedure for acquiring loans should be made simple with shortest possible time for release.
He also directed the officials that youth from less developed areas including Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu Kashmir be given priority in these schemes with 100 per cent transparency and merit.
Mr Sharif was apprised that initially 0.25 million youths would be provided loans and 100,000 laptops would be distributed among them when the scheme is formally launched in January.
The prime minister said the government wanted to provide various opportunities to the youths, including skilled education, training, employment and scholarship so that they could contribute positively in all fields.
The meeting was attended, among others, by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Minister for Information Senator Pervez Rasheed, Minister of State for Information Technology Mrs Anusha Rehman, Special Assistant to PM Dr Musadaq Malik, Finance Secretary Dr Waqar Masood Khan and senior officers of the PM Secretariat.