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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has directed the Ministry of Planning and Development to give priority to innovation projects of various sectors in development including providing alternatives to domestic imports, and increasing exports in the development outlay for the next fiscal year

The prime minister issued the instruction while chairing a high-level meeting of proposals for the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for the budget 2023-24.

He further directed that a Pakistan Endowment Fund should be established for the higher education of youth, and a program of free laptops should be included in the budget to equip talented and performing students with IT skills as with the endowment fund, the youth will be given higher and professional education and skill training in IT.

PSDP in 9MFY23

The element of transparency and merit should be given key importance for scholarships and education, the prime minister further instructed, adding that while including development projects in the budget, provinces, relevant sector stakeholders and allied parties should be taken into full confidence and their suggestions should be included.

The meeting was informed in detail about the progress on the ongoing projects under the PSDP and the suggestions regarding the projects for the next financial year. The meeting was informed that on the instruction of the premier, agricultural sector, renewable energy, higher education for youth, vocational training and employment projects will be an important part of the Public Sector Development Programme for the fiscal year 2023-24.

The meeting was further informed that projects for the development of the IT sector and increase in exports will also be a part of the budget.

Apart from this, the meeting was told that the fruits of the Prime Minister’s Kisan Package and Empowered Youth Program were delivered to the people in the last financial year. In this regard, 60,000 youths are currently being provided internships in various government development projects, while a record production of wheat has been achieved in the past ten years. The meeting was attended by federal ministers Ishaq Dar, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Ahsan Iqbal, Rana Sanaullah, Rana Tanveer Hussain, Adviser to Prime Minister Ahad Khan Cheema, special assistants, Malik Ahmed Khan, Atta Tarar, Jahanzeb Khan, and relevant senior officials.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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