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The laptop distribution game by the Punjab government

Right-wing's charity begins at home
In the absence of any substantial evidence of performance, yet enjoying ‘high ratings’ due to their alliance with the media, the PML-N government in Punjab has in the last few months on an ambitious plan of winning over youngsters in the province by distributing laptop computers. While such a gesture should be appreciated in times when a treasury is running a surplus budget or there are no development gaps in the province, the laptop distribution as a means to gain public approval.

The PML-N, especially Shahbaz Sharif, has used the laptop distribution ceremonies as a platform to spread hate against the PPP especially the President. While we have written posts recently about the derogatory terms being used by Shahbaz Sharif, we find the silence of our media, especially the anchors, to be ironic. While the spend air time endlessly to discuss the ‘maujooda siyasi halaat’, wherein ‘krupshion’ and ‘bad gavernunce’ is the major theme, they absolve the PML-N government completely and turn a blind eye towards the laptop distribution scheme.

We have some questions which we hope someone in the PML-N would respond to, else we pray that either the CJP or the media anchors will do programs on them:

  1. How many laptops are planned to be purchased and distributed?
  2. What is the amount of funds allocated for the purchase?
  3. What make these laptops are?
  4. From which distributor these have been purchased or are planned to be purchased?
  5. Were PPRA rules, which our mindless Transparency International loves to cite, followed in the process?
  6. Have the distributors given any discount as we would consider the program to be a major purchase?
  7. How much is being spent on the distribution ceremonies and who is footing the bill for that?
  8. Under what arrangement is Mian Nawaz Sharif distributing the laptops?
  9. How has Punjab Government financed the purchase? Does it have the funds from its resources or are these the NFC funds which are being used?

While one cannot expect a clear answer, we do hope that media will spend some print space and air time on these nine questions.

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Ahmed Iqbalabadi

4 Comments

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  • 10 laptops were distributed in Mansoora; five in a Bahalawpur madrassah college (affiliated with Masood Azhar’s Jaish-e-Muhammad), three were given to Islamic-Caliphate activists of Hizb-ut-Tahrir in Rawalpindi.

    Islamic revolution is not far off.

  • PML and PPP i.e the two corrupt most mafiaz of this land are too late to fool people with laptops and BISP (read bhikari increase program). For 4 decades they have sucked the blood in the name of democracy along with other players i.e Establishment and Mullahz but hopefully their stage show wont work this time

  • Do not expect any suo motos from the CJ!!!

    Free laptops for Punjab students, now sold online
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/359585/free-laptops-for-punjab-students-now-sold-online/
    As the Government of Punjab continues to distribute free laptops to ‘talented’ students in the province, it appears that some have taken to selling the gift online.

    A report on the ProPakistani website has revealed that laptops handed out under the e-Youth Initiative program are now allegedly being sold on OLX.com.pk, a website used by buyers and sellers in Pakistan.

    A quick search shows sellers pitching their wares stating that the laptop is from the Youth Initiative program and is being sold Rs8,000 to Rs10,000 lower than the market price. Users have also suggested that bargaining can bring the price down.

    It has also been revealed that some machines are available at Hafeez Center in Lahore at a much lower price. Laptops are reportedly being sold for Rs20,000 and lower than market prices.

    The provincial government has so far distributed thousands of laptops in different cities. Students have also complained that laptops are not being distributed on merit.

    The Lahore High Court (LHC) recently directed the convener of the Youth Development Program investigate whether the laptops being distributed at Government University College (GCU) were on the basis of personal liking or merit.

    Asghar Javed, a student of MPhil (Urdu) at GCU, filed a petition on Monday claiming that the laptops being distributed as a part of the program initiated by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif were not based on merit.