Islamabad - The federal cabinet on Tuesday approved “Kamyab Jawan Programme” for extending loans of up to rupees five million to youth.

The programme aims at enabling youth to start their own businesses, lessen unemployment and give a boost to the economic growth, said Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan.

Briefing the media on cabinet decisions, she said the cabinet pondered over the rupee depreciation and its impact on people, and held a thorough discussion on education policy and the new youth loan programme.

The Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) said that Prime Minister Imran Khan, who chaired the cabinet meeting, has reiterated his resolve to overcome the economic difficulties of the people.

She said the cabinet was informed that Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh is busy drawing up a long term economic plan which he would unveil on Saturday (May 25).

Youth programme

Giving details of the youth loan scheme, Firdous said youth aged between 18 and 35 years were 65 percent of the population and in order to empower them the cabinet had decided to launch “Kamyab Jawan (Successful Youth) Programme”.

The programme would engage young people in economic and trade activities and create job opportunities, she said. Women, who are 52 percent of the population, would also be made beneficiary of the programme and 25 percent of the loans would be given to them, she explained.

Other decisions

l Grants to K Electric ratified

l Islamabad LG board approved

l VC for SZABMU finalised

l Nomination of two MPC external members approved

Dr Awan said the loans would be provided in two categories. In the first category banks will provide loan of up to 500,000 rupees at six percent mark-up with lending equity of 10 percent of the amount applied for. Under the second category, an applicant can get loan of up to five million rupees at a mark-up of eight percent and equity ratio of 20 percent, she added.

The programme would bring an economic revolution as youth would be self employed and not only bear their own burden, but would help reduce inflation and unemployment, she observed. She

 

 

 said SAPM on Youth Affairs Usman Dar would brief the media about the salient features of the programme in coming days.

Education policy

The SAPM said that Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood gave a comprehensive briefing to the cabinet on new education policy and his ministry’s plan to increase literacy rate and provide vocational training and skills to students.

She said the policy would be developed under the mandate of the federal government and necessary assistance and facilitation would be provided to provinces for its implementation. A regulatory mechanism had been planned to supplement the efforts of provinces in education sector, she added.

Firdous said the minister will brief media about the contours of the education policy which focuses on provision of quality education, uniform curriculum and other reforms. Spread of education would help in tackling challenges facing the country, she remarked.

She said Prime Minister tasked Higher Education Commission to bring maximum number of chapters of foreign universities with high international standards to Pakistan.

The prime minister also directed that scholarship opportunities should be made available for students in universities abroad as were availed by students of India and other countries, she added.

 

 

Other cabinet decisions

The SAPM said the cabinet approved all the decisions of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) including ratification of grants to K Electric to keep Karachi free of loadshedding during Ramazan. She said financial grant was approved for K-Electric as otherwise it would have choked economic activity in the megacity.

Dr Firdous said the cabinet approved nomination of Dr Asad Zaman and Dr Hamid Mukhtar as external members of Monetary Policy Committee. It also approved to notify Pakistan Credit Guarantee Company Limited as development financial institution.

District and Sessions Judge Hafisa Usman was approved as Banking Judge II Karachi. The Vice Chancellor for Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical University in Islamabad was also finalised.

The SAPM said the cabinet has also given the approval for constituting the Local Government board in Islamabad, which shall comprise Chief Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, MNA Asad Umar, Interior Ministry Deputy Secretary and Chief Officer Metropolitan Corporation. Earlier these powers were vested in Mayor Islamabad.

Firdous said the prime minister directed the parliamentarians to remain active in their respective constituencies to ensure the provision of all commodities in the month of Ramazan.

The SAPM said the prime minister was assured in the cabinet meeting that supply of 19 essential items would be ensured through 42,000 Utility Stores across the country.

She said the PM and cabinet members expressed deep grief and sorrow over the sad demise of Federal Minister for Narcotics Control Ali Muhammad Khan Mahar. The cabinet expressed sympathies with the bereaved family members and prayed peace to the departed soul.

 

 

 

Economic crisis and rupee devaluation

Dr Awan said there was concern among public about devaluation of rupee against the dollar. She said that Advisor on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh briefed the cabinet about the bitter realities of the economy inherited by the present government.

The cabinet led by Prime Minister Imran Khan resolved to bring the economy out of crisis with the strength of the people, she continued. She added that Advisor on Finance would brief the media on Saturday about a roadmap to take the economy forward and also shed light on the wrong decisions of the previous government which led to the present economic mess.

The SAPM said the State Bank was an autonomous financial regulator and the monetary policy announced by it gave all the details about its position on value of dollar.

 

NAB and OPP

Firdous dismissed the call of protest by the opposition, saying opposition parties would fail to launch a drive against the government.

To a question, she said the opposition should consult courts for any complaint against NAB instead of doing propaganda. She said opposition parties should cooperate with the National Accountability Bureau rather than threatening the anti-corruption watchdog’s ongoing investigations.

Playing hide and seek with NAB will not help them, the SAPM said. “If NAB has transgressed its jurisdiction the opposition should approach the court”, she added.

The statement came as a rebuttal to PML-N’s senior vice president Shahid Khaqan Abbasi press briefing earlier in the day, who accused NAB of victimisation.

Firdous said the leadership of traditional parties was only worried about their own future while Imran Khan was working for the bright future of the nation.

To a question about health of Nawaz Sharif, she said his disease was mysterious as he felt fine when he was living free and in luxury at his home but he gets sick every time he is imprisoned.

She told that ministers of interior and human rights informed the cabinet about the incident of brutal murder of a girl in Islamabad. The FIR of the incident had been registered and a SHO had been suspended.

She said the prime minister had zero tolerance for such horrible incidents and the culprits would be brought to justice through speedy court trial.