ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday hoped that students will utilise laptops – provided through the PM's Laptop Scheme – prudently in the advancement of their studies.
Addressing at the launch of the PM's Laptop Scheme under the PM's Youth Programme here at the Convention Centre, he said that he personally approved the design of the laptop that was prepared by Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar, Maryam Nawaz and others.
Nawaz said that gathering of bright students here at the Convention Centre was the dream of his government. “We are working on a real revolution by making youth part of development process,” he said. On the occasion, a contingent of the Punjab Police presented a guard of honour to the students.
The prime minister said the contingent was especially here to present salute to the 'real VVIPs' who were in fact the students of Pakistan. Under the four billion rupees Laptop Scheme, about 100,000 students across Pakistan would be getting quality laptops per year for a period of five years. The scheme is aimed at boosting the scope of research, quality education and improved access to information and communication technology among the graduate and post-graduate level students.
Among other projects for youth, Nawaz said Rs 1.2 billion had been allocated for the Fee Re-imbursement Scheme under which 40,000 students will be getting a refund of up to Rs 100,000 every year. He referred to his promises made during his election campaign and said he remained committed to take Pakistan forward.
He said the government would facilitate those who had education and skills by providing them enough resources to move forward in their lives and help their families by earning respectably. He recalled the criticism against the loan scheme for the youth by certain quarters, and said that despite propaganda, the time had proved the success of the scheme.
Currently, eh said only 12,000 had got the loans, while more funds were available for more loan-seekers. He said no government in the past had the courage to provide loans of up to two million rupees to each youth. While giving the laptops, no questions were asked to the students to which party they support, the prime minister said.
“It does not matter if you have voted for me or not, I am still your prime minister and responsible to provide you all facilities," he said. Around 1,740 students were present at the Convention Centre to receive their laptops. The prime minister also distributed the laptops among the students hailing from all the provinces including FATA, Azad Jammu Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.
Speaking on the occasion, Senator Ishaq Dar said the prime minister soon after taking oath of his office announced six schemes, of which five were for youth. He mentioned the Fee Reimbursement Scheme, PM Youth Loan, and added Micro Finance for the youth will be launched in a few days. He said the Ministry of Finance had already released the full amount of Rs four billion for the scheme.
He said the local manufacturing of the laptops will create new jobs and bring technical expertise to the country. He said with the launch of the 3G technology, the students will experience faster Internet speed and mentioned that the students would also get free EVO 3G dongles with their laptops. He said that purely merit and transparency were being ensured in all schemes and there was no political interference.