BAHAWALPUR - BAQAUL MOHSIN/M AFZAAL HAMEED - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that rule of law is panacea to all problems and the PML-N government wants to ensure it at all levels.

The prime minister said this in his address to the applicants of Youth Business Loan Scheme at Bahawalpur. Had the rule of law been followed and enforced in Pakistan, the country would not have faced a lot of problems, he said, adding, “Our religion also teaches us the same.”

Nawaz Sharif said the loan scheme was not a political slogan but a fulfillment of the promise to the youth of Pakistan. “I have started this scheme as a national cause and only economic and development interest of the country has urged me to start this scheme,” the PM added.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the youth of the country remained neglected and it was time that their real potential was utilised for the benefit of the country. Such schemes should have been started at the time of inception of Pakistan, he opined. He asserted the developed countries like Germany, Japan and the US had made their youth self-reliant.

The prime minister said: “We have to trust our youth and want to give them financial independence so that they could play their positive role in the economy of the country and utilise this loan productively.” Nawaz Sharif said that, previously, the loans were given only to influential people and small loan applicants were neglected. “We have decided to give loans to small borrowers in order to benefit skilled youth and lower strata of the society. This will not only benefit small borrowers but also their families and those to be employed in their projects. Despite financial hardships, the government has been able to allocate Rs 100 billion for the scheme,” PM said.

The prime minister further said: “We have ensured transparency at every level in the government and it is heartening to say that not a single corruption case has been reported in our six-month tenure.” He said in such a short tenure positive effects on the economy are evident to all. He kept on saying that though loadshedding had not been completely controlled, still statistics show that it is much less as compared to the situation last year. In order to completely end loadshedding, the government has planned to build Diamer-Bhasha Dam, Bunji and Dasu hydro power projects, but these are long-term projects and will produce results in 8 to 10 years, he pointed out.

Later, the prime minister interacted with youth loan applicants and enquired from each of them about their plans after getting the loan. The applicants were enthusiastic to find the prime minister amongst them and said the loan scheme would help them exploit their skills not only for their benefit but also for their families and society at large. Federal Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Minister for Senator Pervaiz Rashid and other senior government officials were also present on the occasion.