Written by admin on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

Selected by Olivier Immig & Jan van Heugten

PM Khan approves constitution of task force on tech-driven economy
SOURCE: Daily Times
Wednesday, December 5, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan on Tuesday approved the constitution of a task force on technology driven knowledge economy established to carry out foresight exercises at regular intervals in order to constantly re-evaluate national priorities and put in place strategies and action plans, with delineated timelines to build a powerful knowledge economy.

The PM’s task force on technology driven knowledge economy would be comprising scientists and engineers, representatives from private sector, federal and provincial governments, according to a press release issued by PM Office media wing.

The decision was taken during a meeting of the PM with Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman at the PM office. PM Khan said that building intellectual capital of the country, industrialization and development of human capital, enhancement of value added produce along with quality management for optimization of productivity were among the foremost priorities of the government.

Dr Atta-ur-Rehman briefed the PM about progress on construction of Pak Austrian Fachhochschule, Haripur. He also apprised the Prime Minister about progress into establishment of centre of excellence with help of China in mineral resources engineering, railway engineering and agriculture food technologies.

In another meeting held on Tuesday, PM Khan said that the government was committed to transparency and facilitating investors and enable them take full advantage of huge potential existing in the growing economy of the country.

PM Khan said this while talking to the chief executive officer (CEO) of Telenor Group Mr Sigve Brekke, who called on him at the PM Office. The PM appreciated Telenor Group’s contribution in the telecom sector and said that government aimed to develop a knowledge-based economy in Pakistan and valued Telenor as an important partner in developing the ecosystem that supported the government’s development agenda.

Sigve Brekke said that Telenor Group had been operating in Pakistan since 2005 and it made a significant impact on the socioeconomic uplift of the country. “The Group has invested over $3.5 billion (bn) and created over 5,000 direct jobs, in addition to hundreds of thousands of indirect jobs,” he added. Brekke also highlighted Telenor’s commitment towards financial inclusion and informed the PM of incoming investment of $140 million (m) as a result of the recently announced partnership with Ant Financial.

PM designates Sheikh Rashid as focal person for Leh Expressway project
Prime Minister Imran Khan designated Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Minister for Railways, as the focal person for the decade old stalled 22 km long Leh Nullah Expressway and Flood Channel Project.

“He will spearhead the feasibility of the project and, if found feasible, further processing of the project in consultation with all stakeholders including Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform, and the Punjab government,” a letter from the Prime Minister Office said.

The project launched in March 2007 by former president general Pervez Musharraf was aimed at controlling floods in the Nullah Leh, construction of sewerage treatment plant and limited access roads on either side of the storm drainage to ease traffic congestion on the airport and Murree roads. Frontier Works Organisation initiated work, but the PML-N government stopped funding in 2008, bringing it to a grinding halt.

National policy for youth to be introduced

PM Khan also decided to introduce a national policy for the youth and appointed Usman Dar as his special adviser on youth affairs.

Following the premier’s approval, the Cabinet Division issued a notification regarding Dar’s appointment. PM Khan also decided to launch ‘Naya Pakistan Youth Programme’ within a few days.

Meanwhile, the newly appointed advisor announced that he would not accept any form of compensation while working as a special advisor. “I will not become a burden on the national exchequer,” he announced. Dar said, “We will spend money on the youth and not on laptops. I will work with the prime minister to empower youth to become independent. ”PM Khan appreciated Dar’s commitment and said that he was the best choice to overlook the youth policy.

Dar, who hails from Sialkot, was defeated by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Asif during the 2018 general election.


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