PM: Country’s uplift linked to success of youth loan program

F.P. Report
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said that country’s progress was linked to the success of the Youth Loan Program which besides supporting the unemployed youngsters also benefited the national economy.
The prime minister, addressing a ceremony for cheque distribution among the beneficiaries of the Prime Minister Youth Loan Program, said if provided ample opportunities, Pakistan’s youths would take the country to new heights. He said the loan scheme was the continuation of the PM Youth Loan scheme launched in 2013 by that time prime minister Nawaz Sharif and billions of rupees were disbursed among the entitled youth.
The prime minister recalled that CM Youth Loan Scheme was also launched in Punjab and 75,000 youths were also given vehicles on loan. He said the recovery ratio of the youth loan scheme was around 99 percent which manifested the honesty of the country’s youngsters.
Prime Minister Shehbaz said that the 99% recovery ratio of the youth and Kissan loan schemes falsified the misconception about the risks involved in the individual loans by the banks. He said Pakistani youths never got their loans waived off – a problem that inflicted huge losses to the national economy.
The prime minister congratulated the beneficiaries of the loan scheme and appreciated the services of SAMP Shiza Fatima Khawaja, banks and other partners for their efforts to make this program a success. He said considering their immense potential, the government would never disappoint the youth and would scrape the maximum resources to extend them loan facilities.
The prime minister also announced that the federal government would distribute 100,000 laptops among top achiever youths across the country, purely on merit. He said those who used to criticize the laptop scheme in the past should have witnessed that the very laptops helped the youth to earn sustenance, particularly during the COVID pandemic.
“I am giving laptop, not Kalashnikov,” the prime minister remarked who earlier distributed cheques among the beneficiaries of loan scheme besides launching a Freelancer Card. Earlier, SAPM on Youth Affairs Shiza Fatima Khawaja apprised the audience of the performance of Youth Loan Program and assured that a target of Rs30 billion loan to the youth would be achieved.
She also thanked the relevant ministries, banks, microfinance organisations, business and social media partners for their services and contribution to the success of the program. She said the agriculture and SME sector would be among major beneficiaries of the loan program.
Punjab Bank President Zafar Masood highlighting the features of the freelancer card, said the freelancers could bring in revenue worth billions of rupees if card was issued and account access was made easy. He recalled that in the past, the recovery ratio Rozgar scheme was 99% while the recovery rate of Kissan scheme was 99.6% which removed the misconceptions about the government loan schemes. Earlier, a documentary was played marking the testimonials from the beneficiaries of the youth loan scheme which enabled them to earn sustenance for their respective families.