LAHORE: The government is set to announce the Punjab Youth Policy (PYP) on June 6.
Sabiha Shaheen, executive director at Bargad, told The Tribune, “We are confident that the government will launch the PYP next week.”
Bargad, a youth organisation has worked with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the government in the formulation of the policy. The final draft was approved by the cabinet on May 28.
Shaheen said that the policy had now been “legally and technically approved.”
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is scheduled to announce it at the Alhamra Cultural Complex on June 6.
The Department of Youth Affairs, Sports, Archaeology and Tourism has invited secretaries and ministers from other provinces for the occasion. Shaheen said that the launch will be a two to three hour ceremony in which over 5,000 youth from across Punjab are expected to participate. More than 1,000 flex sheets and advertisement boards will be put up in the city. Iqbal Haider Butt, the lead consultant for PYP, said, “The Punjab Assembly was given three draft presentations last year. The policy will have political ownership.”
He said with secretaries of as many as 26 departments on board, the policy had both political and bureaucratic support.
He said that the PYP’s main achievement was the creation of an autonomous Punjab Youth Commission. Deputy Speaker Rana Mashood was reported on Saturday to have announced allocation of 2 per cent of development funds for the youth. Butt said he expected budget allocation for youth to be significantly more than the previous years.
He said that Rs1.4 million allocation for youth by the government in 2008 had risen to Rs4 million in 2009 after the National Youth Policy was announced.
He said that the creation of the Punjab Youth Development Fund to implement the policy and the Punjab Youth Venture Fund to create sustainable policies to promote entrepreneurship were important.
“Its biggest achievement is that it will create an independent structure,” he said.
Youth ambassadors including Ali Moeen Nawazish, Malalai Yousafzai, Naseem Hameed and Taranjeet Singh are expected to attend the June 6 ceremony.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 4th, 2012.