ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Thursday inaugurated Digi Skills programme aimed at training one million youth through online modules in Islamabad.

Addressing the ceremony, the PM said the present government has delivered in many fields by building motorways, ports, airports and establishing power plants but the advancement in the information technology sector is most important contribution in the last five years.

He said that Digi Skills programme will equip the youth to get online jobs and earn money through a non-traditional way. He said that he has full faith in the youth of the country and expressed the confidence that the girls especially will lead in the e-commerce and digital skills.

Abbasi said the world was changing fast due to revolution in information technology. He said the government's responsibility is to fully facilitate the private sector to take the initiative and lead the way.

Abbasi said the government on its part is committed to ensure availability of broadband in every inch of the country and facilitate e-commerce.

In her address, Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunications Anusha Rehman said the Digi Skills programme is an important program of IT. She said the programme will create online employment opportunities to enable youth to earn 200 to 300 dollars per month. She said with the help of this programme youth from across the country will be providing their services to the entire world. She said that one million youth of Pakistan could get benefits from the program.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister said that the government was considering the formulation of a policy to encourage people to bring their capital back to the country and invest in productive sectors of economy.

At a meeting with a delegation of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, headed by its president Ghazanfar Bilour, PM Abbasi said that a proposal for reduction of taxes was also under consideration to facilitate the documentation of economy and broadening the tax base. Minister for Commerce and Textile Muhammad Pervez Malik was also present, said a press release issued by the PM’s House.

The meeting discussed the issues relating to various sectors of the economy, ease of doing business, enhancement of country’s export, input costs and taxation.

The delegation appreciated the steps taken by the government especially in addressing the law and order, energy crisis and taking the business community and other stakeholders on board in putting in place a business-friendly environment in the country.

Highlighting certain issues faced by the business community, the delegation presented various proposals aimed at further facilitating the traders, reducing input costs and taking other necessary measures for boosting confidence of the business community and capitalizing trade potential of the country especially enhancement of trade with international trade partners and organizations.

The prime minister congratulated the newly elected office-bearers of the FPCCI. Recounting various measures that have been taken by the government to facilitate the traders, the premier said that the government was actively working on improving ease of doing business in the country.

He said that the private sector should play a leading role towards the enhancement of country’s exports. “The government would welcome the proposals from the private sector and continue to facilitate the business community in every possible manner,” he said.

Meanwhile, PM emphasized the need for the provision of quality and market-oriented technical training in different fields. He was chairing a briefing on National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTCC) here.

The prime minister underscored the need for optimum utilization of available resources and infrastructure for the purpose of expanding NAVTCC activities so as to enable a large number of youth to benefit from the skill development programme.

He also advised the NAVTTC for further strengthening its partnership with the private sector to achieve the objective of quality in technical training.

Separately, PM Abbasi chaired a meeting of Cabinet Committee on Energy and reviewed the report on validation of energy and demand forecasting as prepared by National Transmission and Dispatch Company and evaluated by an international consultant engaged through the World Bank.

The PM said that although remarkable progress has been achieved in power sector during the last three years, there was a need to constantly monitor demand and supply situation keeping in view the anticipated high gross domestic product growth scenario in the coming years.

High Voltage Direct Current Matiari-Lahore transmission line project was also discussed during the meeting.

The proposed project with evacuation capacity of 4000 megawatts is being planned to ensure evacuation of power from the new generation planned in the southern part of the country to the load centres in the middle of the country.

He urged the need to synchronize the completion of the transmission lines with the expected completion of the power projects in Thar as well as other projects in South.

Amendments to the Renewable Energy Policy 2006 also came under discussion during the meeting.