Lahore: Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif has said that interest-free loan worth Rs.2 billion are being distributed among deserving persons annually under Chief Minister’s Self-Employment Scheme and 1.5 lakh families are benefiting from this scheme. He said that Chief Minister’s Self-Employment Scheme is aimed at eliminating beggary and promoting business for putting Pakistan on the road to progress and prosperity so that every Pakistani could to live with honour and dignity. He said that Punjab government gave up such aid of ‘Aghyaar’ one and a half years ago as was immersed in the blood of innocent people and compromised national honour. He said that inspite of this decision, development projects are being implemented in Punjab successfully. He said that billions of rupees of poor nation have been misappropriated during the last 65 years due to which Pakistan is facing extreme poverty. He said that looters and plunderers have brought the country to the verge of disaster and the elements who have looted the hard-earned money of the poor are enjoying power. However, he said, the time will soon come when the looted money will be recovered and spent on the betterment of the masses.
He was addressing a function regarding distribution of interest-free loans under Chief Minister’s Self-Employment Scheme at Al-hamra Cultural Complex, Gaddafi Stadium, here today. Provincial Minister Ahmad Ali Aulakh, Advisor Mansha Ullah Butt, Assembly Members, senior officials of Punjab government and a large number of people were present. Executive Director Akhuwat Dr Amjad Saqib highlighted the aims and objectives of Chief Minister’s Self-Employment Scheme. The Chief Minister while speaking on the occasion said that it is an honour for him to attend this ceremony while it is an important day as interest-free loans are being given to poor families to start their own business. He said that Chief Minister’s Self-Employment Scheme is an important step towards making Pakistan an Islamic welfare state in accordance with the vision of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal and time will come when interest-free loans worth billion and trillions of rupees will be distributed among the poor families who will bring about progress and prosperity of the country. He said that this scheme will not only make people self-reliant but will also enable them to play their role in strengthening national economy. He said that the eternal message of Eid-ul-Azha is also that a spirit of sacrifice should be displayed and by adopting this principle, the goal of progress and prosperity of the nation as well as all members of the society can be achieved. He said that poverty is not the destiny of Pakistan as it was created for the honor and dignity of the Muslim world. However, he said it is unfortunate that the national honor and dignity are under continuous attack. He said that the lost status of the country can be regained by promotion of educational and vocational training. He expressed the resolve that every effort will be made to make Pakistan a great country. Appreciating the services of Executive Director Akhuwat Dr. Amjad Saqib he said that the programme which was started with 10 thousand rupees ten years ago has now reached the figure of one billion rupees. He said that Punjab government also contributed a sum of one billion rupees and now loans worth two billion rupees are being dispersed annually. He said that the rate of repayment of loan is more than 98 percent and behind the success of this model of micro financing is sincerity and distribution of loans in a transparent manner.
Earlier, Executive Director Akhuwat Dr. Amjad Saqib while throwing light on the objectives and targets of Chief Minister’s Self-Employment Scheme informed that loans worth ten crore rupees have been given to 70 thousand families from this fund during the last 11 months which has given a ray of hope to these families. He said that Chief Minister’s Self-Employment Scheme is a historic and revolutionary step and a big movement in 102 cities of Punjab against usury. He said that the Chief Minister’s Self-Employment Scheme is an important source of elimination of social and economic poverty. The beneficiaries from this scheme while expressing their views paid rich tributes to Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif. The Chief Minister also distributed cheques of interest-free loans among the poor families.