PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and the Bank of Khyber (BoK) here Monday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to launch Pakhtunkhwa ‘Hunarmand Rozgar Scheme’ for the skilled unemployed educated men and women to enable them to start their own businesses.
Announced in the annual budget for financial year 2011-12, the scheme was provided initial allocation of Rs1.3 billion and mainly aimed at providing loans to the skilled men and women for developing businesses.
Addressing the MoU signing ceremony, Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti said no political influence would be allowed to spoil the scheme and its utility would be ensured through impartial execution.
He added that the scheme would not deliver if it served only those having affiliation with the Awami National Party and Pakistan People’s Party. He said that it should benefit every skilled unemployed male and female in the province on the basis of merit.
Hoti said the provincial government invested heavily in the security sector due to the insecure situation, as it was the only way to fight terrorism.
“Empowering the people financially through initiatives like the Hunarmand Rozgar Scheme is the only and sustainable way to combat terror,” the chief minister said.
He lauded the BoK team and said the financial recovery that the bank had achieved was commendable. He criticised the role of other commercial banks and said their advances were much lower than their deposits in the province.
Giving details of the scheme, Imran Samad of the BoK said the bank would release loans ranging from Rs50,000 to Rs0.3 million to those unemployed men and women who obtained diplomas, certificates from vocational, technical education and skill development centres with a mark-up rate of just 5 per cent.
He said that age limit for the applicants would be 18 to 40 years for males while for females it would be 50 years and they should be residents of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “The women would get 25 per cent of the total allocations of the scheme while maximum tenure of the loan is three to five years including grace period of six months,” Imran Samad added. He said the principal loan would be recoverable in 36 equal installments.