Interest-free loans

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The government’ announcement to offer 80,000 interest-free loans to the country’s unemployed youth, the poor and the needy segments of society has come at a right time as people are facing a record price hike and surge in taxes.

At this difficult hour, 80,000 loans announcement has come as great relief and with these loans the underprivileged class could find some means of income and live an honorable life.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Chairperson of the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) Dr Sania Nishtar announced on Saturday at a press conference that these loans would be given under Ehsas Program across the country to the poor and the needy every month.

Highlighting the key features of the National Poverty Graduation Strategy under Ehsas Program Dr. Sania said that the interest-free loans would be disbursed in the next four years. As per policy, 50 percent interest-free loans would be disbursed among females. Dr Sania said Rs42.65 billion has been allocated for the National Poverty Graduation Strategy program however, 16.2 million people would get benefit from it and 80,000 people would be provided interest-free loans every month, she added. She said the program would consist of three components, including interest-free loans, skill training and transfer of small assets such as sewing machines, livestock and agricultural equipment to bring the marginalized sector into the mainstream. As per policy, 50 per cent interest-free loan would be disbursed among women.

She said that every month a new programme would be launched under the umbrella of Ehsas programme, and all programmes would be implemented with complete transparency. The initiative is part of the ‘Ehsas’ programme and aims to “graduate” the poorest households out of poverty and set them on a course of economic and social prosperity. The government, in addition to its own funding, is partnering with the IFAD and the Asian Development Bank to complete the initiative.

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