LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday said the Chief Minister’s Self Employment Scheme of the Punjab government was a revolutionary programme that was proving helpful in bridging the gap between poverty, unemployment, the rich and poor.
The chief minister expressed these views at a ceremony held at the Badshahi Mosque in connection with the scheme. Speaking at the occasion he said that under the scheme, interest-free loans worth Rs40 billion have been distributed among thousands of needy families within six years and millions of people have been benefited from the loans.
The chief minister said that 1.8 million families in the province have been given interest-free loans under the scheme due to which they are able to earn a respectable living. He said that while on one hand there are great Pakistanis who have repaid the loans, on the other, are the rich who despite having luxury cars, factories and well-paid posts have got their loans worth billions, written off.
He said that he saluted those who returned the loans and used them with honesty and sincerity. Today in this ceremony, Shehbaz said, there are great mothers, sons and aged people whom I salute on behalf of the Punjab government for deciding to lead a respectful life through honesty and hard work instead of seeking alms from others. The minarets of the Badshahi Mosque are a witness to this fact, he added.
The chief minister said that everyone should pray from Allah to bless the government, politicians, judges and the rich with strength and determination to move forward and hold the hands of the poor. He told the participants of the event that he came up with the idea of the scheme back when he met Dr Amjad Saqib during exile in Musharraf’s regime.
“I had planned that if elected into power, the PML-N would work on this unique and innovative idea to assist millions of people,” he said. The chief minister also said that he was satisfied and happy that Allah had given him the strength and enabled him to transform his dream into reality.