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75 Individuals Honored with Development Leadership Awards by Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives

Islamabad: Date: August 08, 2023

In a noteworthy recognition of Pakistan’s unsung champions of progress, the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives has conferred Development Leadership Awards upon 75 exceptional individuals.

The prestigious awards ceremony, held on Tuesday, coincided with the announcement of 60,000 internships under the Prime Minister’s Ba-Ikhtiyar Naujawan Internship Program (BNIP). This initiative aims to equip young graduates with valuable work experience through on-the-job training.

The event saw the presence of Syed Zafar Ali Shah, Secretary of the Planning Ministry, awardees, students, and individuals from diverse backgrounds. Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Ahsan Iqbal, graced the occasion as the chief guest.

The recipients were categorized into three segments: high achievers (above 40 years old), emerging young leaders (below 40 years old), and overseas Pakistanis who have contributed significantly to the nation’s progress.

The BNIP, initiated by the planning ministry, focuses on empowering youth by offering 60,000 paid internships, lasting 6 to 12 months. These internships provide a blend of off-job and on-job training, essential for developing marketable skills and practical exposure. Participants also receive a monthly stipend ranging from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 40,000, enhancing their employability.

Minister Ahsan Iqbal highlighted the substantial impact individuals and organizations can have on economic development, social prosperity, and overall societal well-being. This recognition not only serves as inspiration for the younger generation but also acknowledges their contributions to the nation’s growth.

The minister underlined various government initiatives introduced since April 2022, including a Rs. 10 billion skill development program to bridge the skills gap and promote modern ICT-based skills. An allocation of Rs. 75 billion for the Higher Education Commission (HEC) aims to enhance access and quality in higher education.

Furthermore, the establishment of the Rs. 25 billion National Fund “Out of School Children” addresses the challenge of out-of-school children. Minister Iqbal emphasized the swift implementation of these key initiatives.

Syed Zafar Ali Shah, Secretary Planning Ministry, commended the event as a symbol of celebrating past achievements and envisioning a brighter future on Pakistan’s 75th anniversary. He praised the diverse backgrounds of the awardees and their unique contributions to Pakistan’s progress, highlighting their dedication, innovation, and resilience as sources of inspiration for young minds.

Among the distinguished recipients of the awards were given to Rescue 1122, National Highways & Motorway Police, Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP); Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB); National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA); Punjab Masstransit Authority (PMA); China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Secretariat; Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC), China Machinery Engineering Corporation (Joint Venture); Balochistan Residential College Loralai (BRC Loralai); Balochistan Institute of Information Technology, Engineering, & Management Sciences (BUITEMS); Oxford Pakistan Program (OPP); Infrastructure Development Authority of the Punjab (IDAP); Public Private Partnership Authority (P3A); National Highway Authority (NHA); Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS); Society Leaders Agha Khan Foundation; Layton Rahmatulla Benevolent Trust; Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital; Rashid Memorial Welfare Organization (RMWO) & Sialkot Chamber of Commerce & Industries.

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