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Govt set to launch Rs30bn internship, laptop schemes

Govt set to launch Rs30bn internship, laptop schemes

ISLAMABAD: As the election year has started, the federal government is set to launch three major initiatives with an estimated cost of about Rs30 billion to win over more than 150,000 families through two internship programmes and a laptop scheme.

Under the initiatives, about 50,000 engineers and educated youth would be provided internships in the public and private sectors for up to one year.

This included 20,000 to 30,000 internships in the public sector development projects with an estimated cost of Rs9.6bn and 30,000 interns in the private industrial sector at the cost of Rs9bn — both through the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).

In addition, about 100,000 youth would be provided free laptops at the cost of Rs10bn. These projects are in addition to the Rs87bn already approved by the government for development schemes in the constituencies of 174 MNAs supporting the prime minister.

The first project — the National Development Internship Programme (NDIP) — was formally approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Wednesday but continued to go through major changes in the Planning Commission.

Over 50,000 youth to be provided one-year internships in public, private sectors

Informed sources said that an Ecnec meeting, presided over by the finance minister, on Wednesday approved the NDIP to induct about 20,000 youth as interns at the rate of Rs25,000 per month for one year in the development projects at a total cost of about Rs6bn.

Speaking at a function, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said that 20,000 engineers and technically qualified youth would be hired for each project and they would be paid Rs40,000 per month for one year. That would put the project’s annual cost at Rs9.6bn.

With the Ecnec approval in hand, the government is not set to formally launch the process of hiring 20,000 interns in new and ongoing development schemes during the current fiscal year (2022-23).

Under the NDIP, the development scheme costing over Rs50 million will be eligible for the award of internships.

The development schemes costing Rs50m to Rs250m will hire five interns each at an annual cost of Rs2.4m; projects worth Rs250m to Rs500m will hire 10 interns each (Rs4.8m a year); projects costing Rs500m to Rs2bn would absorb 15 interns each (Rs7.2m a year); projects costing Rs2bn to Rs5bn will hire 20 interns each (Rs9.6m a year); projects worth Rs5bn to Rs10bn would induct 25 interns (Rs12m a year); and projects worth over Rs10bn would take 50 interns each at an annual cost of Rs24m.

The interns will be hired for various development projects for one year.

The age limit of the interns has been capped at 30 years. Any Pakistani citizen with 16 years of HEC-recognised degree or three years’ diploma of associate engineer, paramedic/technician courses, or any other recognised three-year diploma after intermediate in a technical field will be eligible for the NDIP.

Separately, the minister also presided over a meeting on a separate project — ‘Talented Youth Internship Programme’ — under which 30,000 unemployed, graduated youth would be provided Rs25,000 per month internship for six months in the private sector with an additional cost of Rs9bn through the PSDP.

He said the government was set to launch the project under which “the duration of the internship will be six months and a monthly stipend of Rs25,000 will be given to the youth”.

The minister said the government would also revive a project to provide laptops to 100,000 youth, including 20,000 youngsters in Balochistan. In addition, about 75 shining students who secure admissions to the top 25 universities would be fully funded by the government.

Published in Dawn, january 6th, 2023

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