ISLAMABAD, Dec 17 (APP): Around 6,500 business loans worth Rs. 5.8 billion have so far been disbursed among potential entrepreneurs across the country under Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loans Scheme.

Chairperson, Prime Minister’s Youth Programme, Ms Leila Khan informed a delegation of World Bank which met with her here on Thursday.

The delegation, comprising Ms Theresa Paulelle Jones and Amjad Zafar Khan, was apprised of various interventions of Federal Government under Prime Minister’s Youth Programme for socio-economic development of people, especially the youth.

She said under Prime Minister’s Interest Free Loan Scheme around 100,000 interest free loans worth more than Rs. 2 billion have been granted to poorest of the poor people in 44 under developed districts across Pakistan.

The Chairperson said out of the 100,000 Interest Free Loan beneficiaries, around 25,000 are those who had a poverty score of less than 16.17 and were BISP beneficiaries.  These had graduated from BISP programme and had obtained PM Interest Free Loan in order to become self-sustainable and start earning their livelihood.

She said Federal Government is running six schemes under Prime Minister’s Youth Programme which include Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loans Scheme, Prime Minister’s Interest Free Loan Scheme, Prime Minister’s Youth Skill Development Programme, Prime Minister’s Youth Laptop Scheme, Prime Minister’s Fee Reimbursement Scheme, and Prime Minister’s Youth Training Scheme.

Ms Leila Khan expressed her desire to engage international development partners like World Bank, Asian Development Bank, USAID, IDB, Saudi Development Fund and DFID for enhancing scope and impact of these schemes, which are already being run successfully.

She said PM Youth Skill Development Programme has trained 25000 youth in more than 100 demand-driven trades in Phase-I, and is currently training another 25,000 trainees under Phase-II of the Programme.

The Chairperson highlighted that skilled training is provided so that people can use these skills and start a small level enterprise after securing loan under PM Interest Free Loan scheme.

The Chairperson said PM Youth Laptop and PM Fee Reimbursement schemes are focusing on promotion of higher education among youth and added under Laptop Scheme, the government has so far distributed around 100,000 laptops to MS/MPhil, PhD, Masters and Bachelors students enrolled in HEC-recognized public sector universities/colleges across Pakistan.

Similarly, she said under PM Fee Reimbursement Scheme, fee of almost 100,000 students, hailing from less developed areas has been paid/reimbursed.

Above all, PM Youth Training Scheme, about to be launched very soon, will offer 150,000 ( Rs 50,000 per year for a period of three years 2015-18) paid internships @ Rs. 12,000 per intern per month to fresh university graduates aged up to 25 in reputed public and private sector organizations across Pakistan to enhance their employability in the market.