Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday announced six youth welfare schemes for poverty alleviation and employment across Pakistan. The schemes include easy loans, scholarships and laptops for the intelligent students.
The prime minister, in his second address to the nation since assuming the office in July, said that initially government has reserved Rs20 billion for the schemes, which will be for the entire country including Gilgit-Balitistan and Azad Kashmir.
He said that the schemes mark the commencement of the fulfillment of the pledges his PML-N party had made in its election manifesto, adding the circle of these schemes will be widened gradually.
Prime Minister said that the central idea for the schemes is to create the opportunities of self-dependence and self-employment for the youth. He said that like other countries, the space for government jobs is lessoning with the ratio of population.
Youth Skills Development Programme
Under the Prime Minister’s Youth Skills Development Programme, 25,000 individuals having age below 25 with minimum qualification of middle will be provided six-month training in a number of trades along with fees and a monthly scholarship of Rs 5,000.
Youth Training Programme
Under the Prime Minister’s Youth Training Programme 50,000 individuals up to 25 years who have completed their sixteen-year degree programme will be given practical training to help them get jobs at home or overseas. During training, they’ll be awarded a monthly stipend of Rs 10, 000 for one year. This programme has Rs4 billion allocated for it.
Under Prime Minister’s Microfinance Scheme, 2,50,000 men and women of unprivileged section of the society will be given Qarz-e-Hassana (loan without interest) to help them start micro-enterprise activities. There have been Rs5 billion earmarked for the programme.
Small Business Loan Scheme
Under Small Business Loan Scheme, the young individuals will be given Rs.500, 000 to Rs. 2,000,000 to help them start their own businesses. The small business loans will be released through National Bank of Pakistan and First Women Bank at a mark-up cost of 8% while government will bear the remainder. 50% of these loans will be reserved for the women. The scheme, which would benefit 250,000 people, is being launched at a cost of Rs5 billion.
Fee Reimbursement Scheme
Under Fee Reimbursement Scheme for Less Developed Areas, the brilliant minds from FATA, GB, and Balochistan will be provided tuition fee support for their MA‚ M.Sc and higher level education. Rs1.2 billion have been allocated for the programme.
Under the Laptop scheme, 100,000 intelligent students across the country will be provided with laptops by the federal government this year.Rs4 billion rupees have been earmarked for the scheme.
Prime Minister said that the basic structure of these schemes has already been approved by the federal cabinet and their implementation will get underway soon. He invited the people to give their suggestions to make these schemes more transparent and 100% merit-based.
The details of these schemes will be available on the website www.pmo.gov.pk from Monday.