Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Thursday directed the concerned authorities to ensure 100 percent transparency and merit at the administrative level in the Prime Minister’s Business Loan Scheme being launched on December 2,2013.
Any complaints in connection with the transparency of the Loan Scheme would be entertained on a toll free number 0800-77000. The Prime Minister gave these directions while chairing a high-level meeting on Prime Minister’s Business Loan Scheme at the Prime Minister House. During the meeting, the Prime Minister was thoroughly briefed on the various phases, details, Banks’ processes, training of the Banks’ employees, training of loan applicants etc. The Scheme is an excellent opportunity for the youth of the country to change their destinies for their betterment, the Prime Minister said. Under the Prime Minister’s Business Loan Scheme, 50 percent loans have been allocated for women, especially the educated ones, and five percent quota has been reserved for widows, families of the ‘Shaheeds’ and disabled.
The meeting was briefed that a stringent monitoring system would be put in place to save the Loan Scheme from malpractice and corruption.”The success of the Scheme would hinge on its transparency and merit and I myself, by taking its ownership, would ensure it,” said the Prime Minister. The meeting also decided that the balloting for the Loan Scheme would be conducted on monthly basis and those applicants who fail to get loan at a balloting would be considered in the subsequent ballots. “This will be an ongoing process and in the coming months and years, the Scheme would be extended to new levels, the Prime Minister added.
The Prime Minister said that the private sector banks would also join in the government’s effort to give maximum business and employment opportunities to the people. The Prime Minister was also apprised that no cost of forms and small processing fee would be charged from the applicants. The meeting was also briefed on the huge response that the Loan Scheme elicited from the public. Pre-feasibility studies, which help budding entrepreneurs in making their business plans and are available on the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) website have been downloaded in huge numbers and is a testimony of peoples’ deep interest in the Loan Scheme.
The Prime Minister directed that those business areas should be given precedence which are of vital national interest like fish-farming, cattle-farming, gems and jewelry etc. The meeting decided that the First Year of the loan period will be given as grace period and the loan would have to be repaid in the next six years in easy installments and the mark-up on Loan would be 8 percent. Exhorting the youth of the country to gain maximum benefit from the scheme, the Prime Minister said that they must avail themselves of this golden opportunity to secure their and their families’ future. The country would also hugely benefit from this great exercise of national activity. “It is just the beginning and we have to take this process of progress forward,” said the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister said that youth of the country have to be given opportunity for doing their own decent, good, profitable business for their benefit and for the benefit of their country. The meeting also emphasized on the training of bank staff which has to be deputed for the facilitation and loan processing at banks all across the country. “They should be well-mannered, well-informed and courteous,” said the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister directed National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) to hold workshops at the regional and provincial levels to train Managers and branch managers for exemplary processing and facilitation of the loan applicants.
SMEDA and First Women Bank have to work hand in hand with the NBP for the successful accomplishment of this task. Minister Finance Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Minister for Information Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Governor State Bank Yaseen Anwar, Political Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr Asif Kirmani and senior officials of the Prime Minister Office, Finance, SMEDA and First Women Bank attended the meeting. -App