ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Saturday announced the launch of six schemes including easy business loans, laptops, education and training on modern lines with an aim to enable the youth of the country to stand on their feet besides helping to strengthen the economy.
In his second address to the nation, attired in traditional Shalwar Qameez and Waistcoat, Nawaz Sharif said that the government was going to materialize its program envisaged in the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz manifesto.
He said the micro-interest free loan scheme is targeted at disadvantaged sections of the society and will benefit two hundred and fifty thousand people. An allocation of 3.5 billion rupees has been made during the current financial year.
The Small Business Loan Scheme has been designed for unemployed‚ especially educated youth to enable them to start their own businesses. Under the scheme loans ranging from five hundred thousand to two million rupees would be advanced to youth at concessionary mark up rate of eight percent and the remaining burden of the mark up would be borne by the government. Fifty percent loans would be given to women and initially these loans would be advanced by National Bank of Pakistan and First Women Bank. Five billion rupees have been allocated for the scheme.
The prime minister said under Youth Training Scheme those completing sixteen year degree education from recognized institutions would be given practical training to help them secure jobs at home or abroad.
For this on the job training, ten thousand rupees scholarship per month would be given for one year and fifty thousand graduates would benefit from the scheme. Four billion rupees have been earmarked for this scheme.
The Youth Skilled Development Scheme is being launched for boys and girls who have passed 8th class. They will be given six months training in different trades along with scholarship of five thousand rupees a month. The government has earmarked eight hundred million rupees for the scheme.
Sharif also announced a scheme for sponsoring tuition fee of students belonging to backward areas so that brilliant students are not deprived of their right to education due to financial constraints. The government would pay at an average forty thousand rupees annual fee on behalf of each of the thirty thousand students for MA‚ M.Sc and higher level education. This scheme is being launched at a cost of 1.2 billion rupees.
The prime minister said four billion rupees have been earmarked for Prime Minister's scheme for Provision of Laptops. Under the scheme one hundred thousand students would be provided laptops this year by the federal government.
He said the federal cabinet has already approved basic structure of these schemes and arrangements have also been completed for their implementation. He however invited suggestions from people to make these schemes more transparent and hundred percent merit based.
Details of these schemes would be available on the website www.pmo.gov.pk from Monday and people can give their comments on the website. Suggestions can also be sent in writing to the Prime Minister's office.