PSIC director says extensive network of centres is ensuring province-wide outreach
The provincial government has quadrupled the amount that can be secured in the form of an interest-free loan under the chief minister’s programme to promote self employment in the province, Punjab Small Industries Corporation Managing Director Bilal Ahmed Butt said on Saturday.
He was briefing Industries and Trade Minister Chaudhry Muhammad Shafiq on the status of the programme.
Butt said Rs13 billion had been distributed as interest-free loans among eligible youth since the start of the programme in 2011. For the year 2015-16, he said the government had released Rs2 billion for the programme.
Butt said according to the statistics compiled by the government, 692,000 households had benefited from the programme since its inception.
He said an extensive network of centres had been established in the province to receive applications for loans under the programme. He said this was done to ensure that people from all regions benefited from the programme.
Butt said a rigorous vetting process had been put in place to ensure transparency in distribution of loans.
He said there were strict instructions for selecting beneficiaries based on the eligibility criteria laid out for the purpose.
He said punitive action would be taken against officials found violating the criteria in the selection process.
The PSIC managing director said there had been no instance so far of anyone defaulting on repayment of loans.
The minister said distribution of interest-free loans had been initiated to reduce unemployment and bring down income poverty. He praised the PSIC officials for upholding high standards of transparency in the management of the programme.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2015.