ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing the launch ceremony of Kamyab Jawan Programme on Thursday.—APP
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing the launch ceremony of Kamyab Jawan Programme on Thursday.—APP

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday launched the first phase of “Kamyab Jawan Programme” under which merit-based loans amounting to Rs100 billion will be disbursed among the youth coming up with innovative and practicable business ideas.

Speaking at the launching ceremony of the scheme here at the Convention Centre, he said that Rs25bn of the total amount had been allocated for women. Cheerful youth in the jam-packed galleries kept on chanting slogans of Allah-o-Akbar as the prime minister promised to follow the model of state of Madina established by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and urged them to rep­eatedly study the Prophet’s life to be successful.

Giving outline of the programme, he said there would be three categories of loans. The loans of up to Rs100,000 will be interest-free and will be disbursed among the weaker segments of society in 45 districts of the country. The other two categories include loans of up to Rs500,000 and Rs5 million.

The prime minister said the loans would be given strictly on merit and there would be no room for favouritism. “Merit is the most important thing for any nation to prosper,” he stressed.

Says under Kamyab Jawan Programme a quarter of the total Rs100bn has been allocated for women

He pointed out that founder of the nation Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in his first address to the constituent assembly had called for desisting from corruption. However, this could not happen, Mr Khan regretted.

The prime minister said his government was determined to follow the principle of merit and even if Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s people qualified, they would get loans under the programme. In a verbal attack directed at Maulana Fazl, the prime minister said this was the first assembly running without ‘diesel’. “I will no more speak about it,” he said soon after the taunt.

Underlining the importance of skill education in the emerging field of artificial intelligence, he said Rs10bn would be spent on the establishment of smart tactical laboratories. He added that 500 skill laboratories would be established in seminaries. “We need to teach science to the students of madaris, besides religious education.”

The prime minister referred to his meetings with Ulema and said efforts to bring the students of seminaries to the mainstream were moving towards success. “We will try to make our education systems uniform,” he said after pointing out that three educational systems — English medium, Urdu medium and seminaries — are presently functioning in the country.

PM Khan also said 2,000 teachers would be imparted international training to lead the skill development programme for youth. A national youth development foundation would also be created, he added. He said the Prime Minister Office would follow the programme and promised to personally monitor it.

He said three new programmes would also be launched, including greener youth movement. He said there was a plan to grow 10 billion trees in the country over the next five years. The other two initiatives included a start-up programme and a national internship programme for which talks had already been held with stakeholders in the industry, he added.

The prime minister said he had seen many ups and downs and defeats and victories in the life and stressed that a defeat could never demoralise a champion rather became a learning toll for him. “Hard times make you realise about the mistakes you committed,” he noted.

Mr Khan said changes could not be brought by turning on a switch and needed a continued struggle. He said the first 12 months in power were difficult, but expressed the hope that good times were ahead for the country and the people.

Criticising those who were not ready to pay taxes, he said countries could not run without taxes. “Change of mindset is essential to see change on ground,” he said, asking the people to fully play their role in implementation of the agenda for change.

Earlier, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Youth Affairs Usman Dar said the Kamyab Jawan Programme had been developed to enable the country’s youth to prosper. “I am happy because the programme is the first step towards fulfilling the PTI’s promise for youth’s prosperity,” he added.

He said that as per the instructions of the prime minister, the programme was completely transparent and merit-based. “To ensure transparency, the entire programme is made available on a digital platform,” he said, adding that a scorecard had been developed on the basis of artificial intelligence to run the programme.

Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2019