“I see great potential in the Youth of Pakistan who can bring about economic revolution and development in the country through their energies and dynamism”, said Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif while addressing a ceremony to perform 2nd balloting of Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loan Scheme and distribute cheques amongst the successful candidates of 1st balloting at Convention Centre Islamabad today evening. Prime Minister was accompanied by a Ms. Maryam Nawaz Chairperson Prime Minister’s Youth Programme, Mr. Ishaq Dar Minister for Finance, Mr. Ashraf Mahmood Wathra Governor State Bank of Pakistan and Mr. Iqbal Ashraf President National Bank of Pakistan.
Prime Minister said that middle and lower-middle classes have contributed to the development of nations like Germany and Japan, and therefore, I hold great expectations from the Youth of these classes in Pakistan. Prime Minister further said that the Business Loan Scheme would enable thousands of Pakistani Youth to gain financial independence and also prove to be a source of major economic activity. The scheme is totally transparent and based on merit, added the PM.Emphasizing the role of women in the development of Pakistan , Prime Minister said that our government is providing equal opportunities to women in all sectors and therefore all the schemes of Prime Minister’s Youth Program contains fifty percent quota for females. At this occasion Prime Minister directed the governor State Bank to engage other Pakistani Private Banks to participate in these schemes. “Previously banks only entertained the affluent class while as the poor were not even allowed to enter banks, but our government provided opportunities to the marginalized population for gaining economic independence.” said the Prime Minister. Money accumulated in the treasury belongs to the people of Pakistan and they have every right to utilize it for their benefit. It is our obligation to provide services and initiate welfare projects, said the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister also congratulated and appreciated the efforts put in by Minister Finance Mr. Ishaq Dar for presenting a development oriented and Pro-Poor budget for 2014-15. While elaborating the salient features of the budget, the Prime Minister said that we expect to control Inflation, hope significant investment and development projects. Prime Minister further said that by the grace of Almighty and hard work of our team the government has been able to achieve the 16.4% revenues against the target of 21% which is almost 90% success. PM said that livestock insurance scheme has been included in the 2014-15 budget that will provide security to small scale and poor farmers in protection of investment.
Prime Minister emphasized that the government’s top most priority is getting rid of power Load shedding and for this purpose 21,000 MW power projects for the next 8-10 years have been planned . PM further said that unfortunately previous governments did not pay attention to the energy crisis and machinery for Nandi Pur power project lied rusting at the Karachi port while people were suffering long hours of load shedding . “Our government, in a short period of only eight months re-activated and completed this project which shows our commitment to solve the energy crisis” said the Prime Minister. Moreover, the Prime Minister said that a multi-purpose Mega project of Diamer – Bhasha dam with a cost of $12billion and with a capacity of 4500 MW is being undertaken which will not only generate electricity but also help in managing our water resources that are being wasted. Prime Minister also referred to the $35 billion Pak-China economic corridor that would change the fate of the country. PM further said that work on Karachi to Lahore motorway would be initiated soon as Rs 55 billion have been allocated for land acquisition that is to be completed in three months.
Prime Minister said that we should not indulge in politics of leg pulling and unnecessary criticism. People of Pakistan have shown their confidence in us during last elections and it is they who would again decide in 2018 elections based on our performance, added the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister also read out his written speech in which other five schemes of the Prime Minister’s Youth Program were elaborated. Earlier, president National Bank of Pakistan and Minister for Finance also addressed the ceremony.
Later, the Prime Minister performed the 2nd computerized balloting of the Youth Business Loan Scheme in which 5169 loans were awarded to the applicants whose applications were approved by the National Bank. It may be noted here that fifty percent quota is reserved for women along with quota for martyrs and special persons. He also gave away cheques to the some of the successful candidates of 1st balloting. He also directed the President National Bank to forward all the cheques by 15th of June, 2014.