Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday launched Youth Business and Agricultural Loan Scheme in Islamabad, aimed at promoting self-employment and entrepreneurship amongst the youth.
People in the age group of 21 and 45 years can avail of the loan facility of up to Rs7.5 million under the schemes. For IT and e-commerce businesses, the lower age limit is 18 years.
Premier Shehbaz further said that the loan “schemes are aimed at making the youth self-reliant”.
Here are the step-by-step guidelines to apply for the loans:
The addition of agricultural loans will help the rural youth in bringing innovation to farming which can include mechanised farming, the creation of agricultural value chains and the solarisation of farming equipment to create more sustainable energy resource management in a climate-challenged country like Pakistan.
Microfinancing through small business loans will promote a norm of job creation rather than job seeking among the country’s youth bulge.
Islamic banking facilities can also be availed on the loan scheme.
25% quota has been reserved for women.
The prime minister also added that under the schemes, loans of up to Rs1.5 million can be availed on the personal guarantee of the borrower.
“There will be no interest rate on the loan of up to Rs0.5 million. 5% interest will be charged on the loan of over Rs0.5 million to 1.5 million,” he said, adding, “7% interest rate will be charged on the loan of over Rs1.5 million to Rs7.5 million.”
Speaking on the occasion, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Jameel Ahmad said that “special instructions had been issued to the banks for issuing loans to the youth”.
Provision of loans to the “agriculture sector is the top priority” of the government and the central bank, he added. The SBP governor said that every possible assistance would be provided to farmers in flood-hit areas. “The limit of agricultural loans has been increased by 44%.”
He urged all institutions to play a positive role in connection with the youth loan scheme.