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Last update: Sun, 07 Feb 2016 10pm

Provision of 50,000 vehicles: chief minister Punjab launches Apna Rozgar Scheme for unemployed youths

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said Apna Rozgar Scheme worth Rs 31 billion has been launched in the province under which 50,000 vehicles are being provided to the unemployed youth purely on merit through transparent and computerised balloting. He said Apna Rozgar Scheme, like other programmes and projects of Punjab government, was free from Sifarish, corruption and political interference and would result in provision of job opportunities not only to 50,000 youth but 50,000 families.

Shahbaz Sharif said under Apna Rozgar Scheme vehicles were being provided on soft terms and Rs 70,000 below the market rate and their mark-up was also being paid by Punjab government. He said that 60 percent population of Pakistan comprised youth between the age of 15 to 30 years and the aim of progress and prosperity of the country could be realised through their empowerment. He said the scheme was a historic step to translate the revolutionary vision of empowerment of youth into reality.

The Chief Minister was addressing a function regarding computerised balloting of vehicles for Lahore division under Apna Rozgar Scheme, here on Thursday. Speaker Punjab Assembly Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan, Member National Assembly Pervaiz Malik, Advisor on Health Kh Salman Rafiq, Spokesman Punjab Government Zaeem Hussain Qadri, Members Provincial Assembly Sh Allaudin, Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Waheed Gul, Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Nawaz Chohan, President Bank of Punjab Naeem ud Din Khan, assembly members, concerned secretaries, Chairman Punjab Information Technology Board and a large number of intellectuals and journalists were present on the occasion.

Addressing the ceremony, the CM said a major portion of Pakistan's population comprised youth while the presence of such a large number of young people was a challenge. He said Punjab government had taken a number of steps for the progress and empowerment of youth and they had also been focused under Apna Rozgar Scheme. He said lakhs of laptops worth billions of rupees had been distributed among youth on merit basis while interest-free loans were also being provided to them and lakhs of families were benefiting from that programme.

He said rural youth had been provided tractors on concessionary rate while a Youth Commission had also been established for resolving the problems of the youth. He said scholarships were being given to 60,000 poor but talented boy and girl students through Punjab Educational Endowment Fund worth 12 billion rupees, who are studying at LUMS, FAST, NUST, Engineering University, medical colleges and other prestigious educational institutions.

Shahbaz Sharif said it was a very important day for him as Apna Rozgar Scheme was being started for the youth, which would help in resolving the problem of unemployment. He said during his last tenure, 25,000 vehicles were distributed among unemployed youth two years ago and their recovery rate remained higher than 99 percent. However, he said, now the number of vehicles had been doubled.

The CM further said that more than 0.1 million applications were received under Apna Rozgar Scheme and 50,000 vehicles were being distributed. He said 10 percent additional quota had been allocated for South Punjab under that scheme. He thanked Provincial Minister for Transport, former chief secretary Naveed Akram Cheema, Member Provincial Assembly Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Chairman Punjab Information Technology Board Dr Umer Saif, Secretary Transport, President Bank of Punjab, Suzuki Motors and their team and said they had played a commendable role for the success of Apna Rozgar Scheme.

Shahbaz said Pakistan Muslim League-N government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had eliminated Sifarish culture and ensured supremacy of merit. He said Apna Rozgar Scheme was also a proof of transparency, merit and speed. He said Punjab Information Technology Board had shown a laudable performance in the promotion of transparency and Punjab government had taken a lead over others with regard to IT.

He expressed the hope that the youth who would avail employment opportunity would play an important role in the progress and prosperity of the province. He said that originally vehicles were to be provided 40,000 rupees below the market rate but now with increase in the price of vehicles benefit of 70,000 rupees per vehicle would be availed. He said an excellent business model had been developed for Apna Rozgar Scheme and Punjab government would bear the entire mark-up. He said the provincial government had saved public money of 2.5 billion after successful negotiations for the scheme whereas there was no other example of lowering of prices in the country.

He said Punjab government held successful negotiations with the lowest bidders for laptop scheme, transport, solid waste management, solar park and other projects and saved billions of rupees which are being spent on the welfare of the masses. He said Pakistan was facing serious challenges of extremism and terrorism and the aim of national progress and prosperity could not be achieved without elimination of that menace. He said the whole nation from Peshawar to Karachi was united in the war against terrorism and wanted eradication of that scourge on permanent basis. He said that national leadership was united to root out terrorism and all out efforts were being made for that purpose.

He said that time was not far when Pakistan would be free from terrorism and considered a peaceful country, adding the nations faced different challenges but overcame them successfully through hard work and struggle. He said national leadership was united and determined to eliminate terrorism which would be rooted out and the country would again become a haven of peace and harmony.

Member Provincial Assembly Sh Allaudin said honourable job opportunities had been created for thousands of unemployed youth through Apna Rozgar Scheme. He said receipt of more than 0.15 million applications for vehicles was a proof of the confidence of the people in the policies and welfare schemes of Punjab government. He said that both men and women would benefit from Apna Rozgar Scheme under which 25,000 Bolan and 25,000 Ravi vehicles were being given.

President Bank of Punjab Naeem ud Din said BoP was extending full co-operation to the government. Later, the CM inaugurated balloting through pressing a button and computerised list of the winners was issued. He also talked to two lucky winners through his mobile phone and congratulated them on their success in balloting for vehicles under Apna Rozgar Scheme.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015