Flagship imitative of Government

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PRIME Minister Imran Khan, on Thursday, formally launched “Kamyab Jawan’ programme (successful youth), a flagship initiative of the PTI Government having the potential to help realize the oft-repeated and reiterated resolve of the rulers to create employment opportunities for the youth. Addressing the ceremony held for the purpose, the Prime Minister pointed out that youth are future of Pakistan and our destiny depends on them. Imran Khan said he strongly believed in merit and added that meritocracy was the hallmark of the State of Madina.
Pakistan has one of the highest numbers of youth population in the world and it is said that this can be demographic dividend if their potential is harnessed for national growth and development. On the other hand a frustrated youth can lead to social unrest besides apprehensions that the youth may fall into wrong hands especially when we are trying our best to curb violence, extremism and terrorism. It is also a fact that the youth played a leading role in electoral success of PTI and they had pinned great hopes on the Government that it would do something different to exploit their potential. Apart from provision of adequate and affordable opportunities to the youth to get themselves with the latest knowledge and skills, one of the major concerns of our young population is unemployment. The problem has compounded due to compression of the national economy and persistent cuts in the developmental expenditure that has always been axed whenever the country witnessed economic and financial crunch. In this backdrop, there was dire need to initiate a meaningful programme to address the problem of joblessness and Kamyab Jawan programme would surely go a long way in affording self-employment opportunities to the youth. The salient features of the programme clearly show that the authorities concerned have thoroughly considered all aspects to ensure its success and relevance. Merit in grant of loans under the programme has been the prime concern in the past as there had been complaints that loans were doled out on the basis of political affiliations and connections of the applicant. This time round, the programme is based on transparency right from submission of applications which would only be accepted online without any physical contact or correspondence with any institution or body. The concerned banks have been bound to approve the loan and convey to the applicant within 45 days about the fate of his or her application.
The scrutiny of the applications would be done on the basis of secret score board but the banks would be duty bound to provide detailed reasons for rejection of applications. Above all, the entire process would directly be monitored by the Prime Minister’s Office to ensure transparency, merit and fast delivery. It is also encouraging that a huge amount of ten billion rupees have been allocated for the programme and one million youth would benefit from the plan. The youth has also been given the option either to submit his or her own feasibility for launching of self-employment venture or pick from amongst two hundred feasibility studies made available for the purpose. As the vulnerable segment of the population is obviously unable to pay interest on loans, the programme envisages provision of interest free credit of up to one hundred thousand rupees for the first category of applicants while the second category would get soft loans of up to five hundred thousand rupees. If someone is prepared to venture a relatively bigger business, the programme envisages loans of up to five million for them. Women and minorities would also get special treatment and this would take care of their problems and woes. The Government is also working on Skilled Youth, Green Youth Movement, National Internship Programme and Start up Pakistan, which would cater to different needs of the youth of the country. However, much depends on actual implementation of the initiatives as the track record of the Government in this regard is not encouraging. More than one year has passed but it has not yet gone beyond the stage of inviting applications for Prime Minister’s Housing Programme. It is hoped that Kamyab Jawan Programme would be given practical shape on a war footing because of growing frustration among youth and inability of the Government to do something concrete for them. Programme should also be launched on a priority basis to impart vocational training to the youth to help them successfully undertake self-employment ventures.

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