Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Youth Affairs Sunday said the Kamyab Jawan Programme (KJP) might help create 50,000 jobs by the year end through further disbursement of loans amounting to around Rs 5 billion among 10,000 registered Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) under its Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme (YES).

Loans of Rs 1 billion had already been disbursed among 2,190 qualified entrepreneurs since the launch of YES, while the executing banks had approved two tier financing of Rs 3 billion for 7,592 eligible businesses, SAPM said while highlighting the main youth empowerment initiatives, taken by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf since its inception two years ago.

Out of the total approved loans, evaluation of 5,402 businesses was still underway, he added.

The Bank of Khyber (BoK), the Bank of Punjab (BoP) and the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), which deal with the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme, sanctioned Rs four billion soft loans for 28,859 SMEs after scrutinizing total 58,031, selected for carrying out the businesses’ analysis, the SAPM told official media in an interview.

Out of 28,859 SMEs, he said, 14,664 had been rejected by the banks, whereas 6,489 were under processes.

The SAPM said after evaluating the pre-feasibilities of all the applicants of YES, the banks had initially selected total 58,031 businesses for scrutiny. Scrutiny of some 10,699 was still underway, while 18,473 had been rejected.

The ‘YES’ was launched under the banner of Kamyab Jawan Programme in October last year with the seed allocation of Rs 100 billion.

Three tiers were introduced under the programme for disbursement of loans ranging from Rs 100,000 to Rs 25 million among the youth, having workable business ideas. Third tier for a loan ranging from Rs 10 million to Rs 25 million has been added after the expansion of programme.

More than one million applications were received under the Kamyab Jawan Programme, but unfortunately most of the applicants did not come up with practical business ideas, he said in response to a query.

The SAPM urged the youth to sign up with proper preparation and submit practical business plans to ensure use of the taxpayers’ money for boosting economic activities and jobs creation in the country.

The government last week expanded the soft-loan scheme to benefit maximum number of young people across the country, SAPM said, while highlighting the increase in loan amount, which has been raised upto Rs 25 million.

He said the mark-up rates on initial two tiers had also been halved from 6 per cent and 8 per cent to 3 per cent and four per cent respectively. The lower mark-up rate would also be applicable to those who had already availed loans, he added.

Dar said the government had taken other pro-youth initiatives to turn the youngsters in the go-getters of the society through their skill development. “We have been successfully implementing the Hunarmand Pakistan (Skill for All) programme for promoting basic and technical skills among youth.”

SAPM said Rs 10 billion had been allocated for the first phase of the country’s largest skill development programme. Along with traditional trades, training in high-tech technologies (artificial intelligence, robotics, automation etc.) was offered for the first time in the country.

It was meant to develop skills of more than 170,000 Pakistani youth through establishment of a number of institutions across the country, he added.

He also mentioned the National Youth Development Framework (NYDF) – a first national policy vision which envisages empowerment of youth through three –Es i.e. Education, Engagement and Employment.

The National Youth Council and the Corona Relief Tiger Force were among the other major initiatives of Prime Minister Imran Khan for the youth development , he added.