ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Friday issued clear directions to prioritize projects in the upcoming development budget that contribute to import substitutions, expand export volume, and foster innovation in various sectors.
During a meeting held to review the budget proposals for the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2023-24, PM Shehbaz Sharif stressed the inclusion of projects related to higher education, professional training, and job creation for the youth. He further emphasized the establishment of a Pakistan Endowment Fund to provide higher education opportunities to the youth.
The prime minister also highlighted the significance of the laptop program, urging its inclusion in the upcoming PSDP to distribute free laptops among top-performing students, equipping them with modern technology skills.
Additionally, PM Shehbaz Sharif emphasized the need to offer professional and higher education, as well as skill-based training in the IT sector, through the endowment fund.
Furthermore, he underscored the importance of merit and transparency in providing scholarships and education to the youth. The prime minister directed the continuation of projects initiated under the Kissan Package and the inclusion of renewable energy projects in the development budget.
PM Shehbaz Sharif also called for the allocation of special funds in the upcoming budget to drive innovation in the energy sector. He emphasized the removal of slow-moving ongoing projects under the PSDP that have lost their significance.
The prime minister further directed that all stakeholders in the relevant sectors and allied parties be consulted before including any development project in the budget. Their proposals should be considered to ensure a collaborative and inclusive approach.
In a detailed briefing during the meeting, proposals for new projects in the upcoming fiscal year and progress on ongoing projects were presented. It was highlighted that projects related to the agriculture sector, renewable energy, higher education for youth, professional training, and job creation schemes would play a crucial role in the development budget.
The meeting also underscored the inclusion of IT sector development and export-boosting projects in the budget. The prime minister was informed about the positive outcomes of the Prime Minister Kissan Package and Youth Empowerment Programme, which were included in the budget for 2022-23. Over 60,000 youth have been provided internships in various government development projects, and wheat production has achieved a 10-year record.
The meeting was attended by federal ministers Ishaq Dar, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Ahsan Iqbal, Rana Sanaullah, Rana Tanvir Hussain, Advisor Ahad Khan Cheema, Special Assistants to Prime Minister Malik Ahmad Khan, Ataullah Tarrar, Jehanzeb Khan, and other relevant officials. AGENCIES