Special assistant to the P.M. on youth affairs says hundreds of thousands of applications rejected due to impractical business ideas
The incumbent government’s Kamyab Jawan Program will help create 50,000 jobs by the end of this year, Special Assistant to the P.M. on Youth Affairs Usman Dar announced on Sunday, claiming that this would be achieved through the disbursal of around Rs. 5 billion in youth-oriented loans.
Referring to the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme (YES), which was launched last year with an initial seed allocation of Rs. 100 billion, Dar said around 10,000 registered small and medium enterprises would avail the latest disbursement.
The special assistant, with the status of federal minister, said that thus far loans of Rs. 1 billion had been disbursed among 2,190 qualified entrepreneurs. In addition, he said, the executing banks had approved two-tier financing of Rs. 3 billion for 7,592 eligible businesses.
Of the approved loans, said Dar, 5,402 businesses were still being evaluated. He said the Bank of Khyber, the Bank of Punjab, and the National Bank of Pakistan had sanctioned Rs. 4 billion soft loans for 28,859 small and medium enterprises after scrutinizing 58,031 applicants. Of this 28,859, he said, 14,664 had been rejected, while 6,489 were still under process.
Under YES, the government had introduced three tiers for loan disbursement to youths with fresh business ideas, ranging from Rs. 100,000 to Rs. 25 million. Dar said over a million applications had been received since the program was launched, but said a majority had been rejected outright because their business ideas were deemed impractical. He urged all applicants to ensure their plans were practical and properly prepared so they could ensure the best use of taxpayers’ money being used to boost economic activities in the country.
The special assistant said that banks had halved the interest rates for people seeking loans from Rs. 100,000 to Rs. 10 million, adding that this was also applicable on those who had already availed loans.
Dar said the government was trying its best to transform Pakistan’s youth bulge into an economic force through skill development. “We have been successfully implementing the Hunarmand Pakistan (Skill for All) program to promote basic and technical skills among youth,” he said, adding that Rs. 10 billion had been allocated for the first phase of the project. Along with traditional trades, the program was offering training in high-tech technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics for the first time in the country, he said.
The special assistant also pointed to the National Youth Development Framework, which envisages empowerment of youth through education, engagement and employment. The National Youth Council and the Corona Relief Tiger Force are among the other major initiatives of Prime Minister Imran Khan for youth development, he claimed.