PM launches business loan scheme for youth

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Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has launched ‘Youth Business Loans’ to help young entrepreneurs to initiate their own businesses.

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 the country including four provinces‚ Gilgit-Baltistan‚ Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

SMEDA has been tasked with an advisory role in the implementation of Prime Minister’s scheme.

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.

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 Transparency International.

Source: The Nation.