PM’s interest-free loan scheme reviewed

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Thursday chaired a meeting to review implementation status on the Prime Minister’s Interest-Free Loan scheme.

PM Youth Programme Chairperson Laila Khan and senior officials of Ministry of Finance and Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) participated in the meeting.

The meeting was informed that under the scheme, an amount of Rs 3.5 billion had been provided to the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), which had disbursed Rs 2,250 million (Rs50,000 average size loans) by end December 2015 to 110,016 beneficiaries. Out of these, 65,851 were female and 44,165 were male applicants.

Interest-free loans were being made available to men and women from households with a score of up to 40 on the poverty scorecard (PSC) and with little or no access to banks or microcredit institutions.

Under the scheme, 287 union councils in 44 districts across the country had been covered. Bulk of the loans had gone to the livestock sector, followed by business and trading, services and agriculture.

The finance minister on the occasion appreciated efforts of the PM Youth Programme chairperson and the PPAF and expressed satisfaction on the progress achieved thus far. He also gave instructions to seek regular feedback on the utilisation of disbursed loans and said this was important to ascertain the efficacy of the scheme and its impact in terms of economic uplift of a large segment of the society.

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