PM’s youth programmes aim to enhance self-sustainability

ISLAMABAD: Around 6,500 business loans worth Rs 5.8 billion have so far been disbursed among potential entrepreneurs across the country under the Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loans (PMYBL) scheme, PMYBL Chairperson Leila Khan informed a delegation of World Bank on Thursday.

The delegation, comprising Theresa Paulelle Jones and Amjad Zafar Khan, lauded various interventions of the federal government under PMYBL for socio-economic development of people, especially the youth.

The chairperson said under PM’s Interest Free Loan scheme, around 100,000 interest-free loans worth more than Rs 2 billion have been granted to the poorest of the people in 44 underdeveloped districts across Pakistan.

Leila said that out of the 100,000 loan beneficiaries, around 25,000 were those who had a poverty score of less than 16.17 and were Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) beneficiaries who graduated and had obtained PM’s Interest Free Loan in order to become self-sustainable and start earning their livelihood.

She said that the federal government is running six schemes under the PM’s Youth Programme, which includes the Youth Business Loans (YBL) scheme, Interest Free Loan (IFL) scheme, Youth Skill Development (YSD) programme, Youth Laptop scheme, Fee Reimbursement scheme, and Youth Training scheme.

Leila expressed her desire to engage international development partners like World Bank, Asian Development Bank, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Islamic Development bank (IDB), Saudi Development Fund and the Department for International Development (DFID) for enhancing the impact of these schemes.

She said PM’s Youth Skill Development Programme has trained 25,000 youth in more than 100 demand-driven trades in Phase-I, and is currently training another 25,000 trainees under Phase-II of the programme. She highlighted that skilled training is provided so that people can use these skills and start a small level enterprise after securing a loan under the IFL scheme.

The chairperson said that the PM’s Youth Laptop and Fee Reimbursement schemes are focusing on promotion of higher education amongst the youth and added that the government has distributed around 100,000 laptops to MS/MPhil, PhD, Masters and Bachelors students enrolled in HEC-recognised public sector universities and colleges across Pakistan under the Laptop scheme. Similarly, she said that under the Fee Reimbursement scheme, the fee of almost 100,000 students, hailing from less developed areas has been paid or reimbursed. Above all the PM Youth Training Scheme, about to be launched soon, would offer 150,000 (Rs 50,000 per year for a period of three years 2015-18) paid internships at Rs 12,000 per intern per month to fresh university graduates aged up to 25 in reputed public and private sector organisations across Pakistan to enhance their employability in the market.

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