LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Wednesday said that the Punjab government had evolved a revolutionary project of self-employment under which loans worth one billion rupees would be given to the youth to help them stand on their own feet.
The skilled youth would be given preference under the scheme and the upper limit of loans would be Rs50,000, the chief minister said and added that self-employment scheme would result in generation of job opportunities as well as promotion of economic activities.
The CM also issued instructions for setting up a committee to 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 here on Wednesday for provision of loans to the youth under self-employment scheme.
The chief secretary, the Planning & Development chairman, the secretaries of Finance, Law and Social Welfare, the chairmen of TEVTA and the Punjab Vocational Training Council, the Akhuwat executive director and experts were also present.
The chief minister said that the Punjab government was implementing a comprehensive policy for generation of job opportunities in the province which included projects like Yellow Cab Scheme, distribution of one hundred thousand laptops among talented students and self-employment scheme for the youth.
He said that a 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. He said that loans of one billion rupees will be offered during the first year while this amount will gradually be increased each year. He said that self-employment scheme will prove to be a milestone in the elimination of unemployment and provision of job opportunities to the youth.
He said that self-employment 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 issued instructions for selecting an audit-company of international repute for self-employment scheme and said that Punjab Small Industries Corporation will distribute these loans through Akhuwat.
He said that Akhuwat has a wide experience of public service and provision of loans and will execute this welfare project in a transparent manner. He said that loans will be given to the youth under 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 said that such youth should be given preference in the provision of loans as are 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. He said that Akhuwat should further enhance its capacity and submit a plan within seven days for the distribution of loans under the scheme.
Earlier, the Punjab Small Industries Corporation managing director gave a detailed briefing on self-employment scheme. He said that the steering committee for self-employment scheme, the Punjab Small Industries Corporation and Akhuwat had finalized the strategy for self-employment scheme.
Akhuwat executive director Dr. Amjad Saqib said that 55 branches of Akhuwat were operational and it was fully capable of implementing the scheme. He said that the revolutionary project of the Punjab government would be implemented in a transparent manner.