Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said the Punjab government has evolved a revolutionary project of self-employment under which loans worth Rs one billion will be given to the youth to help them stand on their own feet.
“The skilled youth will be given preference under the scheme and the upper limit of loans will be Rs 50,000. The Self-Employment Scheme will result in generation of job opportunities as well as promotion of economic activities,” he added, while issuing instructions for setting up a committee, which would devise a strategy within a few days in the light of which the scheme would be started in 36 districts of the province.
He was presiding over a meeting for the provision of loans to the youth under self-employment scheme here on Wednesday. MNA Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Chief Secretary, Chairman Planning & Development Board, Secretaries of Finance, Law and Social Welfare, Chairmen TEVTA & Punjab Vocational Training Council, Executive Director Akhuwat and experts were present.
The CM said the Punjab government was implementing a comprehensive policy for the generation of job opportunities in the province, which include projects like yellow cab scheme, distribution of one lakh laptops among talented students and self-employment scheme for the youth. He added majority of population comprised youth and provision of loans to them under self-employment scheme would help them stand on their own feet as well as eliminate unemployment. “Loans of Rs 1bn will be offered during the first year while this amount will gradually be increased each year. The Self-Employment Scheme will prove to be a milestone in the elimination of unemployment and provision of job opportunities to the youth. The Scheme for the welfare of the youth will be continued forever and setting up of a permanent institution for the project should also be considered,” he mentioned, while issuing instructions for selecting an audit-company of international repute for the Self-Employment Scheme, and said the Punjab Small Industries Corporation would distribute these loans through Akhuwat. “The Akhuwat has a wide experience of public service and provision of loans and will execute this welfare project in a transparent manner. Loans will be given to the youth under the Self-Employment Scheme in all districts of the province and special committees comprising experts and persons enjoying good repute will also be formed at the district level for monitoring the loans,” he added.
Shahbaz Sharif said such youth should be given preference in the provision of loans as were experienced in various skills and trades so that they could set up such businesses as could not only leave a positive impact on economy, but also generate further employment opportunities. He directed that the guiding policy for the provision of loans and other matters should soon be given a final shape so that the scheme could be started at the earliest. “The Akhuwat should further enhance its capacity and submit a plan within seven days for the distribution of loans under self-employment scheme,” he said.
Earlier, Managing Director PSIC gave a detailed briefing regarding self-employment scheme. He said the steering committee for Self-Employment Scheme, the PSIC and Akhuwat had finalised the strategy for self-employment scheme.
Executive Director Akhuwat Dr Amjad Saqib said 55 branches of Akhuwat were operational and it was fully capable to implement the scheme. He assured that this revolutionary project of the Punjab government would be implemented in a transparent manner.