Government allocates Rs87bn for CPEC in budget 2021-22


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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, said that the government will allocate Rs87 billion for the execution of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects. 

As per details, National Economic Council (NEC) earmarked Rs6.2 billion for Mainline (ML-1) and Rs42 billion for Western Wing. The government also allocated Rs7 billion for the development of infrastructure of Special Economic Zones (SEZs). 

According to sources, the minister said that the federal Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) budget was increased from Rs660 billion to Rs900 billion in the upcoming budget, indicating an increase of 36.4 per cent. 

While briefing CPEC Authority Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Asim Salem Bajwa at the P Block, Asad Umar said that the commitment to completion of CPEC projects has strengthened as the issue of circular debt and nonpayment to IPPs has now been resolved. 

 

For more news, visit Graana.com

 




Esports Academies in KP: How’s the Government Playing its Part?

The esports industry in Pakistan is finally gaining the support of the government. According to the reports published by leading media outlets, the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be setting up esports academies in the province under its latest initiative that aims to help local esports enthusiasts achieve international recognition. 

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has reportedly approved a summary to launch the esports initiative to assist gamers to grow and improve their skills to participate in global esports tournaments and competitions. 

The esports academies will be established at ‘Jawan Markaz’ across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. These centres will also be equipped with computer systems and internet connections.

This is not the first time the government has shown support toward e-gamers and the future of esports in Pakistan.

“The video game industry is worth 90 billion dollars. There is an annual growth of 20% [for the video game industry] in Pakistan,” Federal Minister of Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry, who previously held the office of Federal Minister for Science and Technology, had said last year. 

Earlier this year, Chaudhary took to social media to announce an exciting framework to regulate e-sports was in the works, deeming esports a new sensation in Pakistan. 

“Get ready if you are interested in video games and new opportunities await you,” the federal minister had tweeted.

What is Esports?

Esports has been a lucrative gaming industry [Image Credits: Shutterstock]

Esports, also referred to as e-gaming or electronic sports, refers to competitive online video gaming. Like traditional sports, esports is played either one-on-one or in teams. Esports tournaments, which consist of both amateur and professional gamers, usually have spectators watching from around the world. Unlike standard video games, esports gamers compete against each other to win a cash prize.

The Increasing Popularity of Esports in Pakistan

It’s no secret that the esports industry in Pakistan is expanding day by day. 

Since online gaming has quickly gained popularity among teenagers across the country, large-scale e-gaming organisations such as Esports Pakistan (ESPK) are providing a platform to the youth to enable them to earn a living through this form of sports. ESPK constructed its first Gaming Arena in Royal Palm Golf and Country Club Lahore, playing a vital part in promoting and holding esports tournaments in Pakistan.

This organisation currently has more than 3,000 members, including differently-abled gamers, who regularly take part in different types of esports competitions. The ESPK members also financially support the local gaming community to help the upcoming players hone their skills.

You can learn more about how Pakistan has taken the world of esports by storm here.

Esports Pakistan Ranking

esports tournaments in Pakistan
Esports is becoming increasingly popular in Pakistan [Image Credits: Shutterstock]

In 2021, Pakistan secured 11th position in global Esports earnings, all thanks to Sumail Hassan, a 20-year-old from Karachi who made headlines by earning more than $3,591,225 after participating in as many as 60 esports tournaments. 

At the time, he was dubbed the third-highest earning esports gamer in the world.

However, it wasn’t the first time the young e-gamer had received recognition in the esports industry. 

In 2015, the then-16-year-old had been included in the Guinness World Record for becoming the youngest e-gamer to earn more than $1 million in esports. The Times Magazine had also included him into its list of “The 30 Most Influential Teens of 2016.”

Now, with the establishment of new esports companies in Pakistan as well as the launch of esports academies in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the country’s ranking in the global e-gaming industry is expected to get even better. 

To learn more about esports in Pakistan, stay connected to Zameen Blog – your best source of all the latest government initiatives and real estate trends in the country. You can also share your feedback with us by dropping a message at blog@zameen.com

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Get To Know About Punjab Government Initiatives For Labourers & Low-income Citizens

Pakistan is currently in the major infrastructural development phase in which massive projects worth billions of rupees have already been approved and started. Some of these upcoming developments focus on infrastructural development while some concentrate on efforts to curb poverty and provide people with means to contribute to their monthly household income. The provincial governments have also launched different initiatives to facilitate underprivileged members of society. In this blog, we have covered some of the projects that have been recently reviewed by the Chief Minister of Punjab in a meeting with the Labour Department.

Punjab Government Facilitating Workers Through Labour Department

Initiatives like Ehsaas Programme aim to reduce poverty in Pakistan and make people from different socio-economic classes able to provide for their families and contribute towards the economic development of the country. Realizing the potential of labourers, workers, farmers and many other people working in different professions, federal as well as provincial governments are trying to facilitate them through different projects. 

Education equips people to contribute to economic development in better way(Image Credits: Shutterstock)

The chief minister in his meeting with the Labour Department has directed to turn Punjab Employees Social Security Institution (PESSI) and Punjab Workers Welfare Funds (PWWF) into smart organizations. Moreover, it was also discussed in the meeting to construct a Labour Tower that will be supervised by the Labour Department itself.

The meeting also discussed development projects in the health and education sectors in different areas of Punjab to make these essentials within the reach of everyone. Let’s explore the details of these projects.

Free Of Cost Education

Education is the fundamental right of every child and plays an important role in every individual’s personality grooming. The literacy rate plays an integral part in nurturing the talent that can contribute to the development of the country’s economy.

The meeting discussed the development of an educational facility on the land that will be provided by the Labour Department in DHA Lahore. One of the country’s renowned educational institutions, COMSATS, will establish a campaus on government-owned land where 30% of the strength will consist of children of labourers and workers who will get free education. 

Health Facilities

Access to health services is another basic right of every human. While these public health facilities have been established in different parts of the province, public hospitals in Lahore are some of the country’s best healthcare facilities that have modern equipment used for treatment. 

There are many Social Security Hospitals in Lahore and other areas of the Punjab province where people are treated free of charge. More such Social Security Hospitals are being constructed in other metropolitans of the province to facilitate all the people from tribal areas who have to travel long distances for quality health services. The government has established a cardiology department in Khawaja Farid Social Security Hospital in Multan especially for labourers and workers where they can get treatment for cardiovascular diseases. 

More Social Security Hospitals are also being constructed in Taunsa, Sargodha and Faisalabad to facilitate people residing in close vicinity to these cities. The meeting also reviewed a proposal for establishing PESSI Medical College and Nursing Institute.

healthcare facilities in punjab
Public hospitals in Lahore are some of the best hospitals in the country (Image Credits: Sutterstock)

Minimum Wage Of Labourers & Monetary Grants

The provincial government has restricted the minimum wage rate of labourers and low-wage workers at PKR 20,000 per month which is also higher than other provinces of the country. During the tenure of the incumbent government, the labourers and workers have been facilitated with an increase in wages and grants offered to them by the provincial government. 

The marriage grant for labourers has been increased by 100 percent that was previously set at one lac. The death grant for the workers was set at PKR 500,000 and has been increased to PKR 600,000 that is given by Punjab Workers Welfare Fund (PWWF). The department also has talent scholarships for which the criteria is given on the website of Punjab Workers Welfare Fund (PWWF).

Housing Facility

It is the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan to build houses for those who can not afford to build or buy their own homes in cities. For this purpose, under the banner of the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme, the Punjab Government has launched Punjab Peri-urban Low-cost Housing Scheme in different cities where residential units will be built and given to low-income workers at subsidized rates. These low-cost housing projects have been initiated in different parts of Punjab including Lahore, Sargodha and Nowshera. The chief minister directed the meeting to complete development works on flats being built for workers and labourers at the earliest.

For the low-cost peri-urban scheme by Punjab Government, the federal government has provided a subsidy of PKR 300,000. The size of the houses will be 3 marlas that will be mortgaged at a subsidized interest rate by the Bank of Punjab. 

So, this is all we have on the initiatives of the Government of Punjab to facilitate its salaried and low-income citizens. For more updates on government initiatives and low-cost housing projects, stay tuned to Zameen Blog. You can also share your thoughts with us at blog@zameen.com