Govt to eliminate unemployment, poverty through youth-oriented projects: PM

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ISLAMABAD

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday said his government was resolved to eliminate unemployment, poverty and illiteracy from the country through youth-oriented projects by channelising potential of youngsters, consisting majority of the population.
Addressing a ceremony to mark the first balloting of the aspirants of Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loan Scheme, Nawaz said the government desired to expand the said scheme to the extent that the country gets rid of unemployment.
He said around Rs 3.70 billion would be disbursed among 5,399 applicants declared successful through the first balloting.
The ceremony was also attended by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid and Youth Business Loan Chairwoman Maryam Nawaz.
Nawaz said in the past, the banks had restricted their loan facilities to the influential people, ignoring around 90 percent of the population, what could change country’s future likewise all developed nations.
He said the poor population faced neglect in the past despite having qualification, expertise and dedication as all they lacked were the resources. However, the government would help their dream come true through such schemes, he added.
He said his announcement for the scheme during the electioneering was not a political notion, rather it was his strong commitment to ensure access of this segment of society to national resources.
He said small and medium enterprises always lead the national economy but in Pakistan, the youth welfare always remained confined to words only.
“We will change the lives of the people. Though changing fate lies with God, someone has to become sources for this in this world,” he added.
He told the gathering that the country’s economy was heading positively with investment increased by 5 percent, tax recovery enhanced by 17 percent till January this year and industrial growth by 6.6 percent until December last.
He said the government had to take tough decisions in the initial days that begot inflation because the previous governments had done nothing to address energy crisis and other grave issues.
He said the load-shedding has been reduced remarkably and vowed to end the same as various energy projects were underway to cope with country’s energy requirements until year 2025 by generating around 25,000 megawatts.
The PM said work on Karachi-Lahore Motorway would be started very soon where phased construction of Lahore-Multan, Sukkur-Multan and Sukkur-Hyderabad sections would be carried out.
He hoped the youth would come forward by starting their own businesses in various sectors which would not only support their families but also create jobs opportunities for others.
He said around 28,000 applications were received from Punjab, 3,000 from Sindh, 3,500 from KPK, 1,000 from Balochistan, 600 from Islamabad, 500 from AJK and 100 from Gilgit Baltistan.
He said out of the processed 6000 applications, 5399 would be balloted and the successful candidates would be informed through SMS.
He said the volume of loans to a particular province would not surpass the provincial quota and for year 2013-14, the government has targeted 100,000 applicants to disburse loans.
He urged the people from all provinces, particularly women, to come forward for taking part in national development and apply for the loan to exploit the allocated limit for their respective provinces.
The gathering was told that the balloting has been carried out among the male applicants from Punjab as they outnumbered the set allocated quota as rest of the applications from other provinces was far lower than the quota.
The PM said that out of 38,000 total applications received by the banks, comprised 31,000 men and 7,000 women and a majority of them was aged between 21 to 30 years.
Later, Nawaz carried out the balloting by pressing a computer key.

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