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Youth Programme – an opportunity for unemployed to excel

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Youth Programme – an opportunity for unemployed to excel

Young generation, especially the students, economists, researchers and emerging businessmen always prove to be the backbone of any country as they put in maximum efforts for creating strong economies and invincible nations.

Nations across the globe regardless of caste, creed and colour fully employ such squads to lay down sound economic, cultural and educational foundations not only for self-sufficiency but to compete internationally.

Therefore, the governments in respective countries off and on introduce programmes and policies to get optimum benefit from abilities of their youth by involving them in a variety of nation-building activities, and Pakistan is less to none.

The recent remarkable initiative of reviving the Prime Minister’s Youth Business and Agriculture Loan scheme speaks volumes of the present government’s commitment to cultivate and advance business to empower youth that comprises a big chunk of the country’s total population.

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“Such initiatives are a blessing for people like us in an era when there is economic recession and it is hard to get desired jobs,” said Salman Ali, a youngster who is in search of a job after completing Mechanical Engineering degree.

“This initiative will enable people like me to earn a respectable living and promote entrepreneurship culture in the country to build a strong economy and address the issue of unemployment,” he added.

Aimed at promoting entrepreneurship for youth by providing business loans and ensure bright future for them, this programme will facilitate all, including male, female, transgender and special persons between 21-45 years age to get loans up to Rs 7.5 million with 25 percent quota specified for women.

Terms and conditions will be simple and mark up lesser as 15 commercial, Islamic and SME banks will be providing loans to set up new as well as extension of the existing business, performing as catalyst for economic empowerment of the youth.

“Empowering youth is one of the top priorities of the government,” said Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Youth Affairs, Shaza Fatima Khawaja. “It is our history that whenever the PML-N comes into power, it launches multiple schemes for students, unemployed youth and the small businessmen.”

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She said, “Through its youth and agriculture loan programme, the government aims to providing financial assistance to talented youth for reducing unemployment and promoting a culture of self-employment to reduce extra burden on national kitty.

“Pakistani youth are talented, hardworking and passionate to compete in international market and fully benefit from opportunities provided them to grow and prosper,” she stated.

As unemployment and inflation were touching new heights due to global recession and unwise decisions of the previous PTI government, empowerment scheme would provide breathing space for the poverty stricken people.

Arifa Fatima who is already running a stitching business at small scale also pinned hopes in this endeavor as she thinks, “it will pave way for exploiting entrepreneurial potential of youth.”

“Provision of business loans on simple terms and conditions and with lesser markup will encourage people like us to fully utilize our energies for better earning as well as contribute to economic development of the country,” she stated.

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“It was my long cherished desire to expand business but paucity of resources always hampered me,” she said. “But, this opportunity will definitely help me expand my business and create jobs for other people as well.”

“Special persons were often considered as a burden for their families as well as society. But, this initiative has also raised their hopes to become productive hands by making them earn a respectable livelihood.

“This is encouraging to include people like me in this scheme,” said Haris Kamal. “Special focus on persons with disabilities will ensure their constructive role in economic development, making them equally productive citizens of society.”

“Focusing this segment of society is appreciable,” remarked Abid Akram, a Disability Rights Activist. “We acknowledge the government’s initiative to provide easy loans to youth especially for special persons who form a sizable chunk of society with half among them the female.”

He said about 80 percent of the women with disabilities lived in rural areas and lacked access to basic health, education and employment. “Since these women cannot contribute in financial matters of their family, they are considered to be a burden.

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“But, Youth Business and empowerment programme will help enable them to be financially independent,” Abid Akram said.

“We hope the government will exploit all means to spread information about the programme especially in far-flung areas for creating awareness among people.”

Pakistan’s agriculture sector has a vast potential and agriculture loans under this scheme are expected to increase investment in this sector and bring revolutionary changes.

Khalid Anwer, an agriculturist also sees better future for farmers especially youth who can promote corporate farming in the country to achieve the goals of self-sufficiency and food security.

“This scheme will help mould the interest of youth to benefit from the potential of agriculture sector making it technology driven for their and the benefit of the country as a whole,” he said. 

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NDMA alerts for intense rainfall, thunderstorms from April 17

NDMA alerts for intense rainfall, thunderstorms from April 17

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NDMA alerts for intense rainfall, thunderstorms from April 17

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) as per the latest projections from the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) and multiple weather models, in its advisory has highlighted a series of moderate to intense weather systems to cause rainfall and thunderstorms in the country from April 17th to 29th.

“These weather patterns are anticipated to bring heavy rain, thunderstorms, and hailstorms, posing significant risks to various parts across the country,” said the NDMA news release issued on Wednesday.

The forecast indicated that a weather system would enter Pakistan on April 17th, initiating a period of heavy rainfall and thunderstorms lasting until April 22nd.

“The system will influence Balochistan from April 17th to April 19th, followed by impacts on Punjab and Sindh from April 18th to April 19th. Upper Punjab will experience the effects from April 18th to April 21st, while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) will be affected from April 17th to 22nd April,” the advisory said.

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Following this, a weaker weather system was expected to enter Pakistan on April 23rd, bringing low rainfall and thunderstorms to certain parts of the country until April 24th.

While Balochistan and upper Punjab would experience slight impacts from April 23rd to April 24th, KP, GB, and AJK would also be affected.

However, Sindh was not expected to be impacted during this period.

Subsequently, a strong weather system is forecasted to enter Pakistan on April 25th, bringing heavy rain, thunderstorms, and hailstorms with occasional gaps until April 29th. This system will affect Balochistan from April 25th to April 29th, with intermittent gaps. Sindh will experience impacts on April 25th, 26th, and 28th, while South Punjab will be affected from April 27th to April 28th. Upper Punjab will face the brunt from April 26th to April 29th, while KP will experience effects from 25th to 29th April, potentially impacting GB and AJK from April 25th to April 29th.

The expected rainfall may trigger flash floods in local nullahs of vulnerable areas, including Khuzdar, Ziarat, Zhob, Sherani, Muslim Bagh, Quetta, Pishin, Kech, Panjgur, Gwadar, and Turbat. Flooding may also occur in low-lying areas during the forecast period, particularly in southern western Balochistan.

In the light of these projections, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has issue dinstructions for Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMAs), District Disaster Management Authorities (DDMAs), and other relevant line departments to remain vigilant and prepared to respond to any emergent situations. It is imperative for departments to ensure the pre-placement of machinery and the availability of relevant staff in vulnerable areas.

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Local departments are urged to sensitize residents living along riverbanks and associated nullahs about the expected increase in water flows, and to facilitate timely evacuation of at-risk populations from low-lying and flood-prone areas as per evacuation plans. Additionally, citizens are advised to take extreme precautionary measures, such as staying away from electric poles and weak infrastructure, and refraining from driving or walking in waterways.

Farmers, cattle owners, tourists and travelers are also advised to remain cautious during this period, checking weather and road conditions before traveling, and taking necessary steps to protect crops, livestock, and personal safety.
For further updates and information, citizens are encouraged to stay tuned to local weather forecasts and advisories.

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President summons NA session on April 19

President summons NA session on April 19

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President summons NA session on April 19

President Asif Ali Zardari has summoned the session of the National Assembly on Friday, April 19, 2024 at 10:30 am.

The president summoned the session of National Assembly in exercise of the powers conferred by article 54(1) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

In previous session, Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, daughter of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and President Asif Ali Zardari, took oath as a member of the National Assembly.

National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq administered the oath to Aseefa.

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During the session, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari provided headphones to Aseefa Bhutto Zardari to reduce the noise disturbances as PTI MNAs raised slogans calling for the release of the PTI founder.

Following Aseefa Zardari’s swearing-in, PPP members also chanted slogans in support of the Bhutto family like ‘jiye Bhutto’.  

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President Zardari for strengthening economic, cultural ties with Turkiye

President Zardari for strengthening economic, cultural ties with Turkiye

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President Zardari for strengthening economic, cultural ties with Turkiye

President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday called for further enhancing bilateral cooperation with Turkiye in the areas of trade, economy, education and culture.

The president, talking to Ambassador of Turkiye in Pakistan Dr Mehmet Pacaci, who called on him, said that Turkish companies should benefit from the investment-friendly policies of the country and invest through the Pakistan Stock Exchange.

Welcoming the ambassador, the president said that the people of Pakistan and Turkiye had historic and long-standing ties, adding that the two nations had always supported and stood by each other in difficult times.

President Zardari stated that Pakistan could benefit from the Turkish development experience, especially in the area of infrastructure development.

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In order to promote regional connectivity, he suggested undertaking a joint feasibility study to establish a railway connection between the two brotherly countries. The president also underlined the need for increasing educational and cultural exchanges to further promote people-to-people contacts. He said that Pakistan looked forward to welcoming Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the 7th High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council session in Pakistan.

President Zardari also expressed his gratitude for President Erdoğan’s congratulatory messages on his election as President of Pakistan as well as at the beginning of Holy Ramazan. He also conveyed his warm greetings and sentiments for the future success of the Turkish president. 

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