ISLAMABAD: Chairperson of Prime Minister Youth Programme (PMYP) Leila Khan on Wednesday revealed that 258,637 women were facilitated through Prime Minister Interest-Free Loan Scheme (IFLS) aimed at making youth self-reliant and useful citizen of the country.

The PML- N government under the dynamic leadership of Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had launched IFLS in 2013 with an aim to extend the financial assistance to more vulnerable and the poorest of the poor segment of society.

“Recovery rate of the scheme is 99 percent and Rs. 9,467 million has been disbursed among 4,000,000 youth with loans up to 50,000”, she added.

Leila informed APP that the micro-finance facility was aimed to increase workforce of industrial sector from the current level of 2.5 million to 5 million adding that “loans are being disbursed to those districts on first priority which either do not have Micro-finance facilities or below the 12 percent as per the Micro-Finance Network Data (MFN).

Research and Public Relation Officer of PMYP Abdul Shakir said that Interest-Free Loan with tenure of one year was being disbursed without any markup across all over the country.

The scheme covered 2 districts of Islamabad, 12 of Punjab,10 of Sindh,10 of Balochistan,7 of KPK,2 of Gilgit-Baltistan and each from FATA and AJK, Shakir informed.

“More than 60,000 people who were also BISP recipients were facilitated under this scheme in order to provide them with their own business so that they could earn their respectable livelihood”, he added.

Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) had been mandated by the government of Pakistan to mobilize, monitor and implement PM IFLS, he informed.

Farid Sabir General Manager of PPAF told that “there is strong cohesion between PM’s vision of PPAF to strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations to engage in government’s mandate for poverty alleviation”.

The scheme targetted those households who have the poverty score up to 40 on BISP poverty scorecard adding that IFLS criteria were simple as applicant should be a dignified citizen and belonging from the less-developed area, he added.

PPAF engaged 26 partner organizations, established 291 centres and covered 44 districts and 437 Union Councils, he informed.

“The Prime Minister’s Interest-Free Loan (PMIFL) Scheme is envisaged to provide interest-free loans plus services to people at their doorsteps so that those who are unbanked and/or lacking access to financial services may have resources that can change their lives”, he added.

Salma Boota, a young optimistic lady, from Narowal told that she received a loan of Rs. 20,000 under Prime Minister’s Interest-Free Loan Scheme and purchased raw material for starting a football stitching centre and adding that she also spent half of the loan amount to purchase a goat.

“I am currently being supported by my staff of four employees and manage to earn on an average Rs. 15,000 per month. The PMIFL loan has created a remarkable difference in my life, she remarked.