LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has formally inaugurated Apna Rozgar Scheme to provide jobs to Punjab youth.

“Our government has started the biggest job scheme of the country for providing jobs to educated yet jobless youth, purely on merit and in a transparent manner,” the chief minister said while addressing a ceremony held at Model Town on Saturday.

The process of distribution of vehicles on soft terms to 50,000 lucky persons with a huge amount of Rs31 billion has been formally started under Chief Minister Punjab Apna Rozgar Scheme.

After distributing keys of vehicles among people, Shahbaz Sharif proudly said that the PML-N government, three years ago, distributed 20,000 vehicles worth $10b among youth, adding that the recovery rate was 99.99 per cent.

Undoubtedly, the previous scheme remained successful and the existing scheme has also received encouraging response, Shahbaz said. Under previous scheme, Suzuki Bolan and Suzuki Mehran vehicles were given, while this time commercial vehicles Ravi and Bolan are being distributed, he added.

He assured that Apna Rozgar scheme would play an important role in the speedy development of the province which would not only result in creating thousands of new job opportunities but would also help achieve the targets of development.

Overall, more than three hundred thousand people will directly benefit from this scheme, while thousands of families indirectly, the CM added.

Those who have been provided vehicles will have to pay monthly instalments on soft terms which will be Rs10,000 for Bolan and Rs9,000 for Ravi.

Shahbaz Sharif said that interest free small loans have also been given to thousands of families from four billion rupees under Self-Employment Scheme, so that they could earn their living honourably. “Women are provided loans on priority basis under this scheme,” he added.

Keeping the newly-introduced Land Record Management Information System in context, the chief minister said that this project of 14 billion rupees would be completed in 36 districts by June 2015 due to which Patwari culture would be eliminated. “Patwari culture has been eliminated in those districts where Land Record Management Information System is working regularly and ownership deed and other documents are being provided on payment of Rs50, only in 30 minutes,” he claimed.

Referring to the energy crisis, he said that although it was a big challenge, the government was taking solid steps to overcome the problem.

“The very first and the biggest solar project of 100 megawatt of the country has been completed which will start generating electricity within next few days. However, we have to generate thousands of megawatt electricity,” he added.

Condemning the recent attacks on churches and lynching of two people in Youhanabad, Shahbaz Sharif said that the incidents were highly tragic. He expressed the hope that the menace of terrorism will soon be eliminated through collective efforts and force of unity. “Eliminating terrorism is vital for the progress and prosperity of the country. That is why, all out resources are being provided for the elimination of terrorism,” he added.