Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar on Saturday said 80,000 interest-free loans would be given countrywide to the needy every month under National Poverty Graduation Strategy programme to enable them to start their own businesses.
Highlighting the key features of the National Poverty Graduation Strategy under Ehsas Program in a press conference here, 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 Rs 42.65 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 programme 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 marginalised sector into the mainstream.
Ministry of Education and Professional Training would provide skills to the youth.
She said over 391 cheque distribution ceremonies had already been held across the country where 86,151 interest-free loans worth Rs 3.02 billion were given out to the deserving persons.
She said the program was a comprehensive and multi dimension with 115 policies under four pillars including, addressing elite capture and making the government system work to create equality, safety nets for disadvantaged segments of the population, jobs and livelihoods and human capital development.
With the creation of Ministry of Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Coordination, she said, all the departments including Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal, Zakaat, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund and Trust for Voluntary Organizations would work under the umbrella of a ministry to address the issues in an efficient way.
Moreover, 28 Federal Government departments had been interlinked with each other to make it one-window social protection operation, to assist beneficiaries of social protection besides reducing duplication, she maintained.
Nishtar said a new policy was being formulated to guide the use of development expenditure by parliamentarians to promote transparency, independent oversight and accountability.
She further said that the government was committed to making the lives of the people easier by initiating programmes which would pull them out of abject poverty.
The government’s anti-poverty programme would be different from the previous programme, which had been marred by corruption and nepotism; however, the government would ensure maximum transparency in its programme that was more integrated and synergized, she continued.
The initiative would be executed by BISP and 40 partnering non-governmental organisations, including the Rural Support Programme and Akhuwat.
She said on July 15, the government would give a briefing on “Ehsaas” program which would be first of its kind not only within the country but also throughout the world.