ISLAMABAD, (SANA): Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has launched Prime Minister’s ‘Youth Business Loans’ to help young entrepreneurs initiate their own businesses, envisaging disbursement of100 billion rupee during 2013-14. Meanwhile PM Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has said that the government would resolve the problems of the country but for this the government needs time. He said that all were speaking about increase in onion, potato and tomato prices but when the prices of these things have come on Rs 40 all these people are silent. Nawaz Shairf said he was also worried about the increase in prices of house hold commodities.
It is designed to provide subsidized financing at eight percent mark-up per annum for one hundred thousand beneficiaries through National Bank of Pakistan and First Women Bank. The total mark up rate would be fifteen percent but the Government would pay the remaining seven percent on behalf of applicants.
Those falling in the age group of 21 and 45 years are eligible to apply for loans from one hundred thousand to two million rupees.
Small business loans with tenure up to seven years plus one year grace period and a debt-equity ratio of 90:10 will be disbursed across Pakistan including four provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
SMEDA has been tasked with an advisory role in the implementation of Prime Minister’s scheme by providing more fifty-six updated pre-feasibilities for referencing by the beneficiaries and participating banks to optimally utilize their financial resources. These studies provide a general understanding of the proposed business and are structured like a business plan.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said he made commitments with youth of the country during election campaign in view of the miserable plight of the downtrodden sections of the society.
He said it is a big contradiction that loans worth billions of rupees are doled out to influential and resourceful people but underprivileged segments of the population are deprived of the opportunities to stand on their own feet. He said youth in other countries are backbone of their economies and there is no reason that youth who constitutes sixty percent of our population should not take us to zenith of progress and development.
The Prime Minister said in the past nationalization of industries and banks destroyed the national economy. He said our previous government denationalized and privatized the banks and now they are earning billions of rupees and paying taxes to the government. He said now the present government is going towards privatization of the entities.
Mian Nawaz Sharif said it is not job of the government to run factories rather it should concentrate on improving law and order situation, weeding out terrorism, addressing sectarianism, and improving image of the country.
The Prime Minister said during his recent visit to the United States President Obama and senior members of his administration repeatedly asked one question as to what the United States can do to help Pakistan. Mian Nawaz Sharif said he told them that Pakistan needs more access to your markets and not any financial aid.
Nawaz Sharif said he accepted the challenge to run the government for the sake of our future generations. The Prime Minister said the duration of electricity load shedding has come down but the problem would remain there for the next three/four years and people will have to demonstrate patience for positive results. He said the issue would remain there until the shortages are overcome and the gap between cost of generation and price of the electricity is bridged.
The Prime Minister acknowledged that prices of commodities increased in the country due to rise in the price of POL products in the international market. He however said the government was making strenuous efforts to overcome challenges on all fronts. He asked people to give the government some time to show results. He said the government is formulating new laws to address the issue of law and order, an operation is underway in Karachi and different projects are being launched to overcome energy shortages.
He said an economic corridor would be established with the help of our Chinese friends.
The Prime Minister said loans would be extended to youth purely on merit through ballot and there would be no discretionary quota of anyone including the Prime Minister. He said our hundred branches of the concerned banks would make their sovereign decision and also record reasons for acceptance or rejection of the applications.
He said every month about fifteen thousand youth would be given loans and their target is to grant loans to one hundred thousand youth during current financial year.
He said apart from the trades identified by SMEDA, applicants can also launch their own business in any other field or skill they possess.
The Prime Minister said he sould soon announce a low cost housing scheme.
He said the country needs harmony and unity and the entire world has appreciated the way smooth transitiion from one democracy to other took place after the general elections. Later, the Prime Minister responded to questions by the audience.
He told a questioner that illiterate persons are also entitled to apply provided they have some skill or experience to run any business. He said loans would also be extended for expansion of the existing businesses.
The Prime Minister said the government would encourage people to apply for loans for different trades.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said parts of the election manifesto reflected in the current year’s budget are practically being implemented.
He said the Prime Minister abolished his discretionary fund and the Government slashed expenditure of the PM office by forty percent and other Ministries and Divisions by thirty percent. He said the number of foreign missions is also being slashed to save 3.5 billion rupees.
He pointed out that Pakistan’s position improved by twelve points in corruption index prepared by Transparancy International.
The Finance Minister said the Prime Minister had announced six youth oriented schemes and these would be launched one by one in coming days.
Ishaq Dar expressed the confidence that apart from National Bank and First Women Bank, other banks would also join the scheme in the spirit of corporate social responsibility.
Speaking on the occasion, Chairperson of Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loans Maryam Nawaz said the launching of loans is in fulfilment of the Mian Nawaz Sharif’s election commitments.
She said others only made pledges but the PML(N) government despite financial crunch has successfully announced six youth welfare programmes including Youth Business Loans.
Maryam Nawaz said there are only three conditions for the applicants – they should be Pakistani, holder of valid Computerized National Identity Card and should have a guarantor.
She said forms of the Youth Business Loans would be available from Monday and these would be issued free of cost.
Special counters have been set up at banks and SMEDA offices to facilitate applicants and guide them.
She also explained the procedure for processing of applications and other details of the Youth Business Loans.
The Chairperson said necessary checks have been put in place to ensure transparency of the Loans. The Prime Minister himself would exercise vigilance and different people would monitor the process in the garb of candidates.
She said loans would be extended on merit through ballot every month and hopefully the first balloting would take place in January 2014.
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