Punjab govt gives Rs 750 million loan to AJK

LAHORE: The Punjab government has given the go-ahead to open and operate a Special Drawing Account (SDA) for disbursement of Rs 750 million loan for the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K), The Nation has learnt.

The SDA will be in the name of the Secretary Industries, Commerce and Investment (IC&I) of the Punjab government. At least two officers will be designated to operate the account.

As per the details, the amount is one-time grant-in-aid for implementation of project “Provision of an interest-free loan for self-employment in AJK”.

The sanction for release of funds for the SDA will be issued by the Finance department or from en-block transfer of funds to commercial banks or Development Financial Institutions.

Reportedly, the government of Punjab a couple of weeks back provided Rs1.5 billion as an aid to Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) government for the betterment of its education sector. Contrary to the current grant, that amount was a gift for the AJK government from the Punjab government.

It is to be recalled that the Punjab government in the past too had approved of Rs 495 million as a goodwill gesture to Balochistan. The purpose was to train 3,162 Baloch students and apprentices to make them educated and skillful with a cost.

Moreover, the Punjab government had also announced to hire 536 graduates from the quake-affected Awaran district of Balochistan.

The Punjab government wanted to bridge inter-provincial distances by developing ties in different sectors like education, health, agriculture, higher education, special education, technical education & vocational training authority (TEVTA) and PVTC (Punjab Vocational Training Council). A good number of students from Balochistan, AJK, and FATA are studying in the higher educational institutions of Punjab.


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