In an unprecedented move to address environmental concerns and promote sustainable transportation, the Punjab government has unveiled a visionary scheme to distribute 10,000 electric bicycles among students in various educational institutions. This initiative, implemented through the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), aims not only to provide students with a convenient mode of eco-friendly transportation but also to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles.
Collaborative Financing Electric Bike Scheme
To facilitate the purchase of electric bikes by students, the Government of Pakistan has partnered with the Bank of Punjab to launch a special financing scheme. This scheme enables students to acquire electric bicycles through easy installments at the lowest interest rate. The financing period is set at two years, and the interest rate is fixed at a modest six percent, making it an attractive and accessible option for students.
Key Stakeholders Meeting
An important meeting was held in the Planning and Development (P&D) Board under the chairmanship of Provincial Planning and Development Minister Bilal Afzal. The attendees included prominent personalities like Chairman P&D Board Iftikhar Ali Sahu, Secretary P&D Board Muzaffar Khan Siyal, P&D Board members and other government officials. During the meeting, various proposals were examined, and the transport department provided a detailed information on the eligibility criteria for students to benefit from this initiative.
Minister’s vision and instructions
Minister Bilal Afzal stressed that the distribution of electric bikes is a pilot project designed to capitalize on the market and promote widespread use of electric vehicles. He directed the committee to develop a rational and cost-effective financing model, submit a comprehensive plan to the Chief Minister of Punjab and the Cabinet for approval. Afzal underlined the need for a framework to approve students’ applications and called for continuous monitoring of the e-bike scheme to ensure its success and efficiency.
Phased Implementation and E-Bike Voting Scheme
Afzal outlined the first phase of the scheme, where e-bikes will be allotted to eligible and status-holding students through a voting scheme facilitated by the Bank of Punjab. P&D Board Chairman Iftikhar Ali Sahu directed the concerned departments including Transport, Bank of Punjab, Higher Education and Finance to cooperate in the development of the programme.
Regional focus and gender equality
In the initial distribution of e-bikes, priority will be given to students in major cities like Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan and Faisalabad. Additionally, there will be a separate quota for both male and female students, ensuring gender parity in the distribution process. This strategic approach reflects the government’s commitment to providing sustainable transportation solutions and contributing to environmental protection.
The decision of the Government of Pakistan to distribute 10,000 electric bicycles among students is an important step towards a greener and more sustainable future. This initiative not only addresses environmental concerns but also promotes the use of electric vehicles while aiding students in their educational journey. As the program progresses, it is expected to set a precedent for similar initiatives across the country, promoting a green revolution in transportation and education.