KARACHI - Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said Wednesday that if given a mandate in general elections, his next government would distribute around one million laptops across the country annually as part of the vision to support the talented youth.
The prime minister, addressing a ceremony for the distribution of laptops and cheques for youth business loans, said with support from allies, a mechanism would be formulated – to be equally funded by centre and provinces – to distribute up to 1000,000 laptops across all provinces.
“This is how the revolution will come… This is the only way to make the nation progress,” the prime minister told the ceremony also attended by Sindh governor, chief minister, federal ministers, MQM leaders, provincial ministers, diplomats, and representatives of bankers.
He said youths from across the country needed to be equipped with education and provided maximum resources for country’s swift progress. Mentioning the launch of the capital venture initiative for freelancers on Tuesday, he lauded the youngsters’ talent for developing the projects like converting banana peels into different products and drones for agricultural use. He said it would be sheer injustice if the talented youths were not provided with the required resources as they were the guarantee for the country’s prosperity. He said the incumbent government was in the process of distributing 100,000 laptops announced for the fiscal 2022-23 while the provision for another 100,000 laptops had been made in the budget 2023-24 which would be distributed purely on merit, without any nepotism.
Prime Minister Shehbaz said the caretaker government should also ensure the merit in laptops’ distribution keeping the excellence and enrollment in public sector universities as the only merit. He said through hand-holding, the talented youths could bring in billions of dollars to the country within a short span of time which other industries could not do.
The prime minister also thanked the commercial banks for distributing Rs 30 billion among youth within a few months in the form of business loans. Calling the existing volume of loans insufficient, he called for formulating a policy to make it mandatory for the banks to extend loan facilities to youth, farmers, and small shopkeepers.
He said the previous government gave away $3 billion in loans to business tycoons without thinking of the youngsters.
Prime Minister Shehbaz also called for national unity and concerted efforts to rid the country of poverty as a robust mechanism in the form of a Special Investment Facilitation Council had already been established with a view to putting the country on the course towards economic restructuring and reforms. He said the country could never progress without curbing corruption, power, and gas theft. He said the SIFC would take the country to the destination that the forefathers had dreamt of.
The prime minister appreciated the Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah for carrying out youth welfare projects and Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori for arranging courses for the youngsters at the Governor House. He also thanked Minister for IT and Telecommunications Syed Aminul Haq for his hard work in the ministry to move the projects forward as well as SAPM Shaza Fatima Khawaja. In his address, Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori thanked the prime minister for focusing the uplift of youth being the country’s future. Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah said the Sindh government was also executing similar projects for youth’s welfare in the province.
He said 70pc of the beneficiaries of laptop and business loans were women as the provincial government strongly believed in women’s empowerment. He told the gathering that through the public-private partnership, the provincial government would establish a Technology Park at NED University that would cost Rs 25 billion.
‘COMPREHENSIVE EXPORT POLICY’
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also stressed upon the formulation of a comprehensive export policy and assured that the federal government would make every effort to facilitate the exporters, traders, industrialists and businessmen.
He said that the port city of Karachi had always been a gateway and home to exporters, traders and entrepreneurs that served as the backbone for national economy. He was addressing at Karachi Chamber of Commerce (KCCI) Export Trophy Awards ceremony.
The prime minister said that Karachi always been the place of main hub for revenues generation for the country and underlined that Pakistan required extensive efforts for boosting its exports by setting up industries and utilization of modern techniques to compete in the global market. The export quality must be competitive in global market, he added.
He also appreciated the contribution of exporters and industrialists for country’s economy and said that despite difficulties, they made relentless efforts to increase exports. Sindh Governor Kamran Tissori, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, federal ministers, provincial ministers, parliamentarians, office bearers of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and relevant authorities were present during the ceremony.
The prime minister also observed that when compared with the neighbouring countries with regard to booming industries and exports, they still lagged behind in this race.
Enumerating various factors of the past, he said they required very serious deliberations to evaluate the factors including the successes, failures of the past governments and lack of modern techniques, and issues faced by the industrial sector etc. “With mere blamegame, they will not get anything concrete as it would only cause damage and result in wastage of time. There should be a frank discussion as to how the challenges faced by the industry can be mitigated by the government by facilitating them,” he added.
The prime minister viewed the price of power and gas as vital factors behind industrial development.
“Pakistan is blessed with natural resources and brilliant minds, but it cannot get place among the comity of nations if they keep on promoting rental businesses,” he said and stressed for increase in production and setting up industries, that would take the country on path of rapid progress.
The prime minister expressed the optimism that with restructuring, collective hard work and the government’s sincere efforts, they would be able to put the country on track of progress and prosperity.
He also hoped that the Interim government and the upcoming government would take these initiatives forward.
ECONOMY ON TRACK OF PROGRESS AS DEFAULT RISK EBBS AWAY:PM
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday said that the country’s economy was on the course of progress as the risk of default had been averted, consequent to the efforts by the coalition parties.
The prime minister, in a meeting with a delegation of the Pakistan Business Council here, said all the coalition parties cooperated in every decision of the government. He said the government was keen to revive national economy through investment facilitation and business- friendly policies.
The prime minister said restoring the confidence of investors and the business community was the greatest achievement. He said the government would miss no opportunity for economic recovery, restoration of confidence of international partners, investors and the business community.