Nawaz launches interest-free loan scheme today

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister’s Interest Free Loan Scheme under the umbrella of Prime Minister’s Youth Programme (PMYP) will be officially launched today (Thursday) across the country. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will launch the maiden interest-free loan scheme in Islamabad.

This was stated in a meeting presided over by PMYP Chairperson Maryam Nawaz Sharif at the PM House. The chairperson further said that out of the total budgeted allocation of Rs3.5 billion for the fiscal year 2013-14, the first ever interest-free loans amounting to Rs3.9 million would be distributed among 175 deserving beneficiaries of Haripur, KP. She maintained that under the scheme, 200,000 loans up to Rs50,000 would be provided to sponsor productive micro-enterprise activities by the poor in rural and urban areas of Pakistan.

She added that the households with a score of up to 40 on the Poverty Score Card having a viable business idea or opportunity but little or no access to banks and micro-credit institutions were the target beneficiaries of the scheme.

The chairperson said that 50 percent of the loans would be disbursed to women. The scheme will cover 200,000 people in the first year. Subsequently 1,000,000 people in four years in all districts across the federation with low socio-economic indicators, high food insecurity, limited or non-existence of micro-finance institutions and concurrent investment or activities in livelihoods, employment or enterprise development.

Briefing the chairperson, officials of the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund informed that initially 63 districts had been given priority as per criteria and the loans would be disbursed according to NFC formula.

Two hundred and fifty loan centres and Karobar Rehnumai Markaz or Business Advisory Centres to provide enterprise and technical support have been established all over the country for effective execution of the scheme, it was stated.

“The launch of interest free loans scheme would usher in a new era of socio-economic development in the country, which is top priority of the PML-N-government”, remarked Maryam Nawaz adding, “Prime minister accords top priority to the underprivileged segments of the society as his government is making strenuous efforts for their uplift”.

She said that the PM’s Interest-free Loan Scheme was a unique opportunity for the poor especially women to improve their socio-economic condition and play their role in the overall development of the country. (Courtesy: The News)