FAISALABAD   -   The government is committed to providing people in the age group of 21 to 45 years with an easy access to much-needed capital so that they could exploit their entrepreneurial skills to strengthen national economy. This was stated by Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Youth Affairs and Chairman PM’s Youth Programme Usman Dar on Monday. 

Addressing a cheque-distribution ceremony under Kamyab Jawan Programme (KJP) at FCCI, he said that the government had allocated Rs100 billion for the first phase of the programme. 

He appreciated the skills of Pakistani youth and said that successive governments failed to exploit their God-gifted capabilities and thus they became burden on the economy instead of gearing up the pace of progress and prosperity. The micro, cottage and SME sectors faced continuous crises as the successive governments did not concentrate on these segments, he said, adding that the PM was fully aware of the importance of textile sector and was considering to set up full-fledged textile ministry to focus on the SME sector. Regarding Kamyab Jawan Programme, he said that the SME sector was badly ignored in the past despite its 80% share in exports and 25-30% share in the GDP. In spite of its excellent performance, only 6% of total released loans went to the SME sector, he added.  

He said that the KJP would also generate one million jobs for the youth. The government is also working on “Ease of doing business” and “Cost of doing business”. He said that taxes would also be curtailed within next few months, enabling our exporters to compete their international competitors. 

Regarding high rates of electricity and gas, he said that it was due to ill-conceived policies of previous governments that the incumbent government had to increase the tariffs. However, on the direction of Prime Minister (PM), the refund claims of last many years were being cleared on top priority basis, he added.  

Regarding popularity of KJP in Faisalabad division, he said that 21,000 youth had uploaded demand of Rs27 billion. The scrutiny of the applications would be started soon as all 21 banks were involved in it.  

He further said that loans worth Rs1.3 billion had already been released to 300 SMEs under this programme, while loans of Rs5 billion had also been sanctioned for 6000-7000 small units. These units will get loans within couple of months. Under this programme, 100,000 to 150,000 youth will also get jobs within 1-1.5 years, he added.  

He claimed that all these loans would be disbursed purely on merit, without any political consideration.