Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Friday said the country could achieve tremendous development by harnessing the youth’s talent and energy, who formed 60 percent of the population. Speaking at the launching ceremony of Youth Business Scheme here at Hyderabad Club , he said the government had decided to empower the youth economically by granting loans to help them launch their own businesses. This would not only help improve the socio-economic condition of the youth, but also directly benefit their family members, and other stakeholders engaged in different business activities, he added. A total of 40 applicants, including 18 women, whose loan applications fulfilling codal formalities were accepted also attended the function and replied to the queries of Prime Minister. Nawaz Sharif said the government had launched the scheme to improve the economic condition of the youth, who would be given loans ranging from Rs 100,000 to Rs 2 million . The government realised that the country’s educated and uneducated youth had no access to financial opportunities for their economic empowerment. No development could be achieved without active participation of the youth, he said and added the government had decided to make the future builders financially strong. He said youth were the major contributors to the development of any country and the government was determined to open vistas for them, who remained neglected so far. In the past, big loans, amounting upto Rs 20 billion were being granted to individuals or groups, but the youth were ignored, he said. The Prime Minister said the present government was determined to remove the sense of deprivation among the youth by supporting them. Nawaz Sharif said a transparent policy had been formed for granting loans to the deserving youth purely on merit and no pressure would be tolerated. Even he himself could not assert pressure on the authorities concerned in giving loans, he said and added only those would avail the facility who had comprehensive plans to start their business. The Prime Minister said the scheme was actually conceived during his last tenure, but it could not be launched due to unavoidable circumstances. He said he had never forgotten the scheme and committed to the youth during his recent election campaign. Now, the youth would soon reap its benefits. The scheme would bring a great change in the socio- economic conditions of the people in about a year. It would not only gear up economic activities, but also help improve the gross domestic product, he added. He criticised those who were trying to mislead the youth by making propaganda against the scheme. He called upon the youth not to pay any heed to them and work for the country’s progress and prosperity by availing the opportunity. Recalling the Yellow Cab Scheme launched during his second tenure, the Prime Minister said it proved very successful as 99 percent recovery rate had been achieved. He expressed the hope that after getting loan, the youth would work hard to promote their businesses and return their liabilities within scheduled time. The Prime Minister said the youth through their hard work would help government launch development projects in every nook and corner of the country. He said the government had decided to launch Karachi Circular Railways and he had already chaired a meeting in this regard. He said the government was determined to serve the masses without discrimination and was making decisions purely on merit. The time was not far when the people would enjoy the fruit of his efforts. He said Sindh had played a great role after the creation of Pakistan as it welcomed all those wholeheartedly, who came here after migration from other parts of the Sub-continent. The Prime Minister said under Youth Business Scheme, the youth would have to repay the loan within eight years and no recovery would be made during the first year. Realizing the difficulties of the youth in getting guarantors, he said the government had made some relaxation in that respect. The applicants could now name their relatives as guarantors. They could also furnish the guarantee of government officers of Grade-15 or above. The applicants could also produce the guarantee of more than one person and even they could get loan against moveable and immoveable property worth 1.5 (one point five) times more than the required amount, he said. He said the condition of having bank account with National Bank of Pakistan had also been relaxed and now those having accounts with other banks could also apply. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said the loan application scrutiny process was being monitored strictly, and if any injustice was done to the applicants action would be taken against the bank officers concerned. President, National Bank of Pakistan , Munir Kamal said that through Youth Business Scheme, the banking sector access would be improved. The banking sector access in Pakistan was very little as compared to other countries. He said that under directives of the Prime Minister and Chairperson of the Prime Minister’s Youth Development Programme, Maryam Nawaz , a transparent policy had been framed for granting loan. Later, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held direct interaction with the applicants, who were selected for grant of loan after completion of required formalities. Among the applicants, Naima Husain from Thatta, Saba Khalid from Hyderabad , Rahila Ammad from Thatta, Gulshan from Sinjhoro district Sanghar, Osama from Latifabad Hyderabad, Junaid Saleem from Dadu, Khurram Memon from Hala and Ramesh Kumar from Tando Muhammad Khan briefed the Prime Minister about their business plans. Among others, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah , Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Pervaiz Rashid , Ameer Bakhsh Bhutto, Minister of State for Railways Abdul Hakeem Baloch , Advisor to the Prime Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh , Imdad Bhutto , MPA Haji Shafi Muhammad Jamote, MPA Irfan Ullah Khan Marwat, General Secretary , Pakistan Muslim League-Sindh , Saleem Zia , Syed Aijaz Shah Sheerazi , Shah Muhammad Shah and Chief Coordinator Youth Business Scheme Sindh, MNA Ms. Marvi Memon were also present.
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