Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has launched a nationwide laptop scheme after the success of Chief Minister Punjab Laptop scheme. The scheme is no doubt a noble effort by the Government of our country. However, it could have been made better if the government had pondered over the long term and nationwide benefits.
As per the brief description of the Prime Minister Laptop Scheme, it is aimed to spread use of computers among students of colleges and universities. On the other hand, it is written in the description that 100,000 laptops will be distributed among students. It should not be neglected that the cost of the project, that means the budget that is allocated for Prime Minister Laptop Scheme is around 4 billion rupees.
Now, a simple question that needs answering is, Do we have only 100,000 students in universities all over the Pakistan? If we have more, who will provide a laptop for all those students?
As per the Education in Pakistan Wikipedia page, Pakistan produces 450,000 graduates yearly. If we sum the four years of university education we will get 1800,000 university students who are enrolled every year. While the Prime Minister Laptop scheme is only supporting 5% of the University students by providing them free laptops.
Now, out of these 100,000 students many students will sell their laptops because they care for money more than mere laptops. If you don’t believe me, you can check olx.com for CM laptop scheme laptops.
A Better Option:
Now what would be a better option than this one?
There is a term that we use in economics and that serves the purpose of bringing the price of a commodity down by sharing half of the price with the government of that country. This term is known as ‘subsidy’.
As the Prime Minister Laptop scheme is using a budget of 4 billion rupees. It will not be difficult to divert the scheme to be used as a subsidy on laptops rather than distributing 100,000 laptops in university students.
How this method will work?
Government can subsidize the rates of laptops by 10% – 50% for students.
The method is easy and a check and balance system will be needed. It is no rocket science and Government can subsidize the rates of laptops by 10% – 50% for students. It can do this by issuing a notice to all laptop franchises to sell at a discount to all the students who are enrolled in universities, colleges and schools.
This brings us to a question, how will the franchises know if the person who is buying a laptop is studying in a university, college or school. Well that is easy, a form can be used for the purpose of verification just like the one that is used for registering for Prime Minister Laptop scheme.
Now, what do you think is a better method? The second method will not only help more than 100,000 students to buy laptops for nominal price by Prime Minister Laptop Scheme but it will also have an impact nationwide.