Govt Discontinue the Prime Minister Laptop Scheme

As new govt has taken changes in the previous govt decisions Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led government, in less than a month after coming into power, has announced the decision to abolish a number of schemes launched by the former government for the promotion of a single individual. One of the abolished programmes includes Ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s laptop scheme.

Laptop scheme was one part of Nawaz Sharif’s Youth Program which was launched in 2014. The program has a procedure of distribution of laptops among students across the country who attain good grades. This program was not limited to public sector universities but also included semi-public sector.

Newly designated Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry revealed this information while talking to media on Tuesday. He also informed that Benazir Income Support Programme will be retained.

The scheme, which has been abolished, was gearing up to award more than 100,000 students per year. The scheme assured the awarded students of following features:

  • Genuine Windows 10 Operating System
  • Microsoft Office365 software
  • Training opportunity at Microsoft IT Academy at respective university/ institutes
  • Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification voucher
  • 3G EVO Device

As HEC website states, “the main objective of this scheme (laptop scheme) is an attempt to enhance the scope of research and quality education in the country and increase the access to information technology.”

The laptop scheme has been part of many scandals over the years. It had been reported on multiple occasions that the government was buying these laptops at much higher prices than market rates, leading to suspicion over the credibility of the scheme. It had also been reported that most students used to sell their free laptops to pay for their university fees rendering the whole scheme useless. Second-hand markets are still filled with laptops from PM’s laptop scheme, according to multiple sources.

“The cabinet has decided to establish a task force to bring back money illegally stashed abroad by Pakistanis. A unit has been established at the Prime Minister House to overlook the process,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry said in his media talk after the meeting.