APP96-22 SARGODHA: December 22 – Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar addressing the event for 250,000 beneficiary of PM’S Interest Free Loan Scheme as a Chief Guest at the PM Office. APP

ISLAMABAD, Dec 22 (APP): Minister for Finance Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar on Thursday said the microfinance sector of the government was providing soft loans to 4.2 million people to start business.
Addressing a cheque distribution ceremony to celebrate the 250,000th
borrower under Prime Minister’s Interest Free Loan Scheme, one of the 06 schemes being run under Prime Minister’s Youth Programme, Ishaq Dar said under Prime Minister Interested Free Loan Scheme (PMIFL), so far 250,000 deserving people from 427 union councils of 44 districts had received loan, guidance and training out of which 62 per cent
were women.
He said the government had started the scheme in 2014 for which Rs 3.5 billion were earmarked in the federal budget.
“Through this scheme we reached to the people specially the women
belonging to the poor segment of the society who had the ability to own a small business but they did not had access to conventional micro finance.”, he added.
He said he was happy to see that most of the beneficiaries of the scheme were running their business successfully.
Ishaq Dar said under Benazir Income Supports Program (BISP), the
government had enhanced the budget from Rs 40 billion in 2013 to Rs 117 billion in 2016 and number of beneficiary families were also increased from three million to 5.6 million.
Whereas, he said keeping in view the increasing rate of inflation,
the government had also increased the annual stipend under BISP from Rs 12000 in 2013 to Rs 18,800 in 2016.
Likewise, he said the budget of Pakistan Bait ul Maal was also enhanced from Rs two billion to Rs 4 billion.