LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that 60 per cent population of the country comprises youth and their empowerment can lead to strengthening of national economy and changing the destiny of the nation.

He was talking to Assembly Members of various districts, on Sunday. He said that the Punjab government of Pakistan Muslim League-N had taken steps of historic nature for the development and empowerment of youth. He said that a target had been fixed to create more than 40 lakh jobs opportunities under Development Strategy 2018.

He said: “Youth is a precious asset and various programmes are successfully continuing for benefiting from their talent. He said that loans of billions of rupees have been distributed among the youth for enabling them set up their own business while the process of distribution of 50 thousand vehicles among the youth under Self-Employment Scheme is also continuing.”

The chief minister said that PML-N was implementing its manifesto of public service and provision of basic amenities to the masses. He said that every penny of public money was being spent honestly on projects of development and prosperity of the citizens.

He said that Self-Employment Scheme, Punjab Educational Endowment Fund, Daanish School, Metro Bus Service, Aashiyana Housing Scheme and other welfare programmes are glorious examples of utilization of national resources on the masses. He said that a large number of poor people are benefiting from unprecedented welfare programmes of Punjab government.

The chief minister said that the second phase of distribution of 50 thousand vehicles among the youth under Self-Employment Scheme had been started and a highly transparent system had been evolved for this purpose. He said that vehicles are being provided to the youth at less than the market rate without any Safarish.

He said that a big programme of skill development is also continuing and the scope of this programme started from South Punjab is being extended to the whole province. He said that skill development programme has also been launched for the empowerment of the youth and thousands of male and female youth have been imparted various skills under this programme.

He said that these skilled youth will not only help in economic self-reliance of their families but can also earn foreign exchange for Pakistan by working abroad and play their effective role for strengthening economy of the country.

Shahbaz Sharif said that sit-ins and protest politics last year not only hampered the process of national development but also created hurdles in the implementation of welfare programmes for the youth. However, he said, with strong determination and spirit of public service every hurdle can be overcome for achieving the goal of national progress and prosperity.

He said that government is determined to make up the precious time of the nation which was wasted due to useless sit-ins. He said that with hard work and commitment, the goal of national progress and development will be achieved and poverty, ignorance, unemployment and darkness will be removed from Pakistan to make it the country of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal.

Assembly members while speaking on the occasion said that the Punjab government led by Shahbaz Sharif had taken revolutionary steps for the progress of the province and adopted an effective strategy for empowerment of the youth. They said that the steps taken by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif were proving fruitful and completion of mega projects is resulting in relief to the masses.