'Heartbreaking to see the spread of unemployment': PM launches youth loan scheme

Published: December 7, 2013
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressing the launching ceremony of Youth Business Loan Scheme in Islamabad on Saturday. PHOTO: PID

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressing the launching ceremony of Youth Business Loan Scheme in Islamabad on Saturday. PHOTO: PID

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressing the launching ceremony of Youth Business Loan Scheme in Islamabad on Saturday. PHOTO: PID PHOTO: EXPRESS NEWS screenshot of the Prime Minister speaking at the launch ceremony.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Saturday launched the  entrepreneur-friendly Youth Business Loans programme in a bid to control the spiraling unemployment in the country, Express News reported.

The Youth Business Loan programme, which is part of the larger ‘Prime Minister’s Youth Programme’ initiative, is designed to provide subsidised financing at 8% mark-up per annum for 100, 000 beneficiaries through the National Bank of Pakistan and First Women Bank.

Speaking on the occasion, Nawaz Sharif said that excessive nationalisation by previous governments had devastated industry and economy in Pakistan.

“It is not the government’s task to be running businesses. That’s for the people to do,” Nawaz said to applause from the audience. “The government’s responsibility, rather, lies in delivering the quality of security and law and order as is required by the people.”

Nawaz said that everything from banks to mills and even the tiniest industries were nationalised in Pakistan, which hindered the country from running an economy on small enterprises, which other countries like Korea succeeded in.

“I was surprised to see that in countries like Korea, these small enterprises form the very crux, the driving force behind the economy.”

The PM went on to say that when he was first elected prime minister in 1990, the government privatised many of these industries including banks like Muslim Commercial Bank, Habib Bank Limited and others.

“It’s this privatisation that has borne fruit and made these companies, industries immensely profitable not just for themselves, but for the national exchequer account too.”

Nawaz said that statistics indicated that a large percentage of the youth in this country was unemployed.

“A large number of hands shot up at every occasion I asked for a show of hands by those who were suffering from unemployment,” he said.

“It was heartbreaking to see this number of people unemployed, and to know that no one in Pakistan cared about these people, many of whom were degree-holders too.”

Nawaz went on to say while inaugurating the loans scheme that the programme had received accolades and encouragement from various foreign officials. He especially mentioned US President Barack Obama Senator John Kerry while describing the kind of support Pakistan was offered to make an economic recovery.

Speaking on the occasion‚ the PM’s daughter and Chairperson of Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loans Maryam Nawaz said the launch is fulfillment of one of Nawaz Sharif’s prime election commitments.

“The Rs100 billion set aside for the programme will be disbursed among 100,000 talented and skilled youth in the next seven months,” she said.

“The Prime Minister was deterred and discouraged by many people, who advised him against the idea of distributing funds to inexperienced youth. But he always said – and I’m witness to this – that we should trust our youth, that investment in youth is investment in the future of Pakistan.”

Maryam Nawaz said there are only three conditions for the applicants – that they should be Pakistani‚ they should hold a valid Computerised National Identity Card and lastly, they should have a guarantor.

She said forms of the Youth Business Loans will be available from Monday and these would be issued free of cost.

Special counters have been set up at banks and SMEDA offices to facilitate applicants and guide them.

She also explained the procedure for the processing of applications and other details of the Youth Business Loans, clarifying that necessary checks have been put in place to ensure transparency of the loans.

The loans

The total mark up rate would be 15% but the government would pay the remaining seven percent on behalf of applicants.

Those falling in the age group of 21 and 45 years are eligible to apply for loans inside the range of Rs0.5 million to Rs2 million.

Small business loans with tenure up to seven years plus one year grace period and a debt-equity ratio of 90:10 will be disbursed across the country including four provinces‚ Gilgit-Baltistan‚ Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority has been tasked with an advisory role in the implementation of Prime Minister’s scheme.

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Reader Comments (54)

  • optimist
    Dec 7, 2013 - 8:44PM

    Good step, youth should also be guided through a body of experts and progress should be monitored of each new setup quarterlyRecommend

  • Hopeful
    Dec 7, 2013 - 8:51PM

    PM Sahab, can you take some of your looted money and use that instead of tax payer money?Recommend

  • Major Iqbal
    Dec 7, 2013 - 8:54PM

    The best thing the youth of Pakistan can do is to leave the country ASAP and find life elsewhere. Recommend

  • Jibran
    Dec 7, 2013 - 9:03PM

    Make me the in charge, I will do it free of cost. The problem is that this chick is more qualified than me (although not academically).Recommend

  • T Khan
    Dec 7, 2013 - 9:06PM

    Oh my goodness…. history repeating itself.. another Self Employment Scheme (SES), I used to work in a bank in Pakistan and seen first hand the horrible consequences of this, both for the banks and the hapless ‘entrepreneurs’ who ended up being defaulters!! This guys is not learning from his mistakes.

    T Khan

  • Nikki
    Dec 7, 2013 - 9:11PM

    Mr. Prime minister your effort is appreciable for the youth of Pakistan.
    But the quesion is why 60% brain remains without work and who is responsible;
    State policies?
    Education system?
    Bad governaance?
    or favoritism?
    We need to rething and re-evaluate our aforementioned grave issues.And also one shoud avoid to use this innocent raw resourse for political purposes, please.Recommend

  • salman
    Dec 7, 2013 - 9:13PM

    in inauguration ceremony of youth loan program two people were with Mr. PM. one is his brother in law and finance minster and other is his daughter. and i am surprise to here that PM has given responsibility to make it successful to his daughter who even does not hold any official position in government. Recommend

  • salman
    Dec 7, 2013 - 9:22PM

    objective should not be just to give the loan but to make the people capable to have sustainable business so they can have better life. unfortunately the whole focus is on giving the loan :) Recommend

  • Luciferous
    Dec 7, 2013 - 9:22PM

    Pakistan’s Marie Antoinette will actually bake the cakes and give them away himself!
    Original Marie Antoinette is turning in her grave!

  • Nikki
    Dec 7, 2013 - 9:27PM

    @T Khan:

    Dont worry this youth will teach to every one whoever going to use them.Recommend

  • Shankar
    Dec 7, 2013 - 9:46PM

    Good governance is a major issue in Pakistan,but more than that favoritism and nepoitism are getting roots. Look at your PM, he has brought his kin in youth policy.
    Ge should have selected an independent young person from middle or poor class as in charge of YOUTH BUSINESS LOANRecommend

  • Youth
    Dec 7, 2013 - 9:57PM

    Ok so let me do a little math here, 1000000000/100000 = 10,000 Per person. And that a loan too, What business can someone do with such amount?Recommend

  • Khan
    Dec 7, 2013 - 10:04PM

    who will monitor this youth?who has time for them?
    ————————–Give and forgive—————Recommend

  • Dec 7, 2013 - 10:12PM

    Loan should be given on the basis of business acumen after evaluating the business/industrial project. Of course the margin money (borrower’s contribution) has been kept 10% of the project cost. Moratorium period has been allowed 12 months. this should have been fixed based on the based on the generation of surplus revenue (and not a uniform period of 12 months)
    there is every possibility of default of loan on mass scale. This should not be a gimmick to reward the loyal PML-N supporters.Recommend

  • Akhtarrao
    Dec 7, 2013 - 10:20PM

    @Major Iqbal:

    Dont misguide them,you work as major,you know this country need young people to work not retired from the army particularlyRecommend

  • Taru
    Dec 7, 2013 - 10:22PM

    As usual trust the dumb Pakistanis to come up with this. First of all loans are fixed income instruments, they need guaranteed returns whereas entrepreneurial works are inherently risky with high chance of failures. The way to support startups is through equity not debt and even here private equity and venture capital funds only fund those ventures with most proven business model. Doling out loans to unemployed youth to start business is sure way to get high NPLs in banks. Instead Pakistan should fund few young people with proven business ideas through equity and not depositors bank money. This is finance 101. But Pakistanis like their founding father are articulate but dumb.Recommend

  • Akhtarrao
    Dec 7, 2013 - 10:37PM


    Well said Nikki, fully agreedRecommend

  • yousafhaque
    Dec 7, 2013 - 10:49PM

    Looking at such experiments made in the past by both PPP and N-league,to provide jobs to youth,another 100 billion plus 15%+7% is going to go down the drain.God bless Recommend

  • Syed
    Dec 7, 2013 - 10:49PM

    I see these 100Billion probably going down the drain(i hope not though)… what business would youth will do? is there any strategy in place for helping them out whether the business they are going to setup will either be benificial or not and any alternate business options be provided – Not everyone alone would be able to setup a business and etc…

    Will these 100Billion be divided by 4 to give each provice 25billion? – so that youth from each provice gets an equal share where further diversification of loan be based up each city within the province?

    How this money will be tracked so as to provide 100% audit when needed? what if someone goes default, what are contigency plans if there are any….Recommend

  • Syed
    Dec 7, 2013 - 11:01PM

    What a crocodiles tears being shed to pay their loyals? Like laptop another feasting way for their lower staff. Suprisingly when all running businesses are collapsing, how these new in-experienced enterpenures, would take a start with this loan money, under prevailing conditions? This scheme is just nothing, but an effort to purchase the youth with money. Recommend

  • Luciferous
    Dec 7, 2013 - 11:32PM

    Hare does not have monopoly over his brain or his ideas!Recommend

  • Arsalan Mustafa
    Dec 7, 2013 - 11:57PM

    An effort to appreciate, PM is yet to make another mistake. Maryam Nawaz chairing the committee will only result in increasing the wealth of her own family, as evident in the past. Though, somehow Mr. PM and her daughter can manage to spare some amount for the youth, it is beyond the expectations of youth that they can get the exact loan amount they are applying for. Suppose if one apply through NBP, their lazy officials having no banking experience will hold the applications with senseless objections. For clearing those objections youth has to bribe the officials eventually giving away minimum 10% to maximum 35-40% in bribe. Therefore, it is clear that either a transparent private bank should be tasked for giving away loans to the youth, or the scheme is failed. Nobody would repay even the actual amount if they would bribe the officials to obtain the loan. Recommend

  • Yasir-k
    Dec 8, 2013 - 12:09AM

    Mark up is interest! and we know very well what interest is??? going against Allah and hoping for betterment…comparitively the Benazir income support program was better as there wasnt any interest involved!


  • Major Iqbal
    Dec 8, 2013 - 12:14AM


    I’m not misguiding the youth. I am looking out for their best interests. The country is in shatters and they have a right to live their lives to the fullest extent.


  • Parvez
    Dec 8, 2013 - 12:28AM

    ….and where will you get the money from ?…..print it ?


  • Uzair Malik
    Dec 8, 2013 - 12:28AM

    I’d rather appreciate reforms for tax collection with this amount-honestly dude, what on earth are you upto? You’re simply passing on loans forward-finding the easiest possible way of pumping in money-why on earth don’t you spend this amount on health and education? We are for heavens sake first, overpopulated and-to make things worse-were uneducated. It’s like a cracker in the hands of a monkey! When will you understand the word ‘governance’?


  • Ali Azhar
    Dec 8, 2013 - 1:00AM

    If a person gets a loan of 2 million than after first year he or she is suppose to pay 31000 to 32000 Rs per month, i wonder if the person is at loss than how he or she will pay back 2.8 million Rs (0.8 million Rs markup). I think government should also focus on guiding youth to use the loan wisely and SMEDA may be made more effective in this regard.


  • Shaista
    Dec 8, 2013 - 1:34AM

    J, since you were initially contesting elctions against PNL-N, so no chances for you to qualify in this life for any project during N-League goverment! sorry mate.


  • Ch.Allah Daad
    Dec 8, 2013 - 2:55AM

    Minimum age limit should be brought down to 12 years, so that majority of PTI also qualifies for these loans.


  • Dec 8, 2013 - 4:44AM

    plz guyz dont hesitate people….
    it will b a huge turnover for the future of those who could nt made effort…. its a right step at right time….feel the feelings of needy….thnk plz


  • xor
    Dec 8, 2013 - 5:51AM

    Before election slogan was “Bila Soud” now 8% – another josh khitabat


  • Parvez Amin
    Dec 8, 2013 - 6:39AM

    No mention has been made of the guarantees required to in case of a loan default. No mention has been made of the mechanism for disbursing the loan. These are important details which ET could investigate and inform its readers. It must be realized that recovery of default loans is practically impossible given the back log in our courts. The PM has announced a scheme on humanitarian grounds – not business requirements. I am afraid the money will be wasted.


  • polpot
    Dec 8, 2013 - 7:49AM

    ‘Heartbreaking to see the spread of unemployment’: PM launches youth loan scheme ”
    Very strange heart…it does not break to see tomato selling at rs 150 a kg.


  • Kafka
    Dec 8, 2013 - 8:14AM

    Just a political gimmick ! as long as the security situation does not improve, economic situation will not get any better. So in a few years, there would be more unemployed but in debt youth whose business could not work.


  • Rafique Khan
    Dec 8, 2013 - 8:24AM

    We strongly condemn this Youth Business Program and selection of Maryam Nawaz as Chairperson for this program.

    Nawaz Sharif must learn from his past mistakes but he has not learned anything. Ishaq Dar is also his relative.

    This scheme will also failure and will not produce any positive result in the economy of Pakistan and can combat high rates of unemployment in youths.


  • Shah
    Dec 8, 2013 - 8:30AM

    will be a total loss. This is a place where students never even return “karz-e-husna”, rich default bank loans and now this.


  • Np
    Dec 8, 2013 - 9:34AM

    You know math but not English. This scheme is for 100 billion rupees. 1 billion = 100 crore. You were confusing a billion with a crore. Now do the math again.


  • ;-)chief
    Dec 8, 2013 - 9:40AM

    lots of youth will get employment when factories from KSA & Bangladesh will be shifted to Pakistan……


  • Fahad
    Dec 8, 2013 - 10:27AM

    This idea is a failure….after few months the banks will be chasing those so called entrepreneurs to get their money back. Imran Khan’s vision is much mature than this one. IK has started a scheme to give the stipend to unemployed students on a regular basis. And try to lift the industry to create more genuine jobs for the youth.

    From Nawaz Sharifs loan the youth can just manage to afford a thaila!Recommend

  • Waziristan@
    Dec 8, 2013 - 10:54AM

    Is this loan for only Panjab … ? Application will accept from Waziristan (NW) people ?


    Dec 8, 2013 - 11:01AM

    The guy who wrote the comment with Alias “Youth” really needs to work on his maths
    100 billion is written as 100,000,000,000 divided by 100,000 = 10,00000


  • unbelievable
    Dec 8, 2013 - 1:21PM

    Rather than give them loans why not give them a job? Don’t you have streets, sewers, or schools that need building or repair?


  • Ishrat salim
    Dec 8, 2013 - 6:34PM

    This amount should have Been best used to generate electricity through coalición, solar etc’….this would have made idle factories and industries up and running and youth would be absorbed in them….that was the best solution. This Rs 100 billón will end up like yellow cab schemep…….

    And PM Sb pls do not blame ZAB….it was early 70s period after that you had 2 times govt and now you are in 3 rd time…..do not unnecessarily put your own failures on someone else shoulder……please.


  • optimist
    Dec 8, 2013 - 7:33PM

    It is indeed a good step. Even if 10% of these people are successful, they will return a lot more in taxes and new jobs to the state!
    I don’t know why some people are so negative even about a positive news.


  • Brookside
    Dec 8, 2013 - 8:39PM

    Where are business plans for these loans ? electricity ? Another failed idea from accountant turned finance minister ….


  • Ishrat salim
    Dec 8, 2013 - 11:23PM

    That is what you think ! none of them will be able to return the amount….has beneficiary of yellow cab return money or cab ? there is nothing positive about this scheme….this will only increase inflation and subsequent rise of daily ítem….why guys do not analyse actions moré critically from económic point,of view. This amount could best be used in increasing the existing capacity of power utilities in conversion from thermal to coal, for example, which in turn would startup the dead factories and industries, in turn increase employment….in absense of this step, young people are turning into criminals and extortionists etc;


  • Ed
    Dec 9, 2013 - 11:46AM

    The last time Mian Ji’s heart was breaking he cost the national banks and the government billions courtesy the yellow cab scheme..Aaaargh


    Dec 9, 2013 - 12:42PM

    “‘Heartbreaking to see the spread of unemployment’: PM launches youth loan scheme”

    Reminds me of Nero’s tears.


  • muhammad ebrahim
    Dec 9, 2013 - 6:48PM

    its all are rubbish fist the p.m should back the money which are in foreign banks and he should paid the tax properly then we’ll except his pakage


  • Dec 9, 2013 - 7:08PM

    I wish one day our policymakers will believe in Islam…

    I don’t know why our rulers are reluctant to build partnerships with people of Pakistan..!

    8% markup…! “markup” is a heartbreaking term for many people like me :(

    You can get well over 8% per year (with of course principle back), if you make partnerships with each individual business. There are lots of ways to do “business-things” without crossing or violating Islamic norms…

    I am disappointed, but haven’t lost hope…


  • amanat ali
    Dec 9, 2013 - 9:04PM

    Old businesses of the people are already at stake although people doing businesses are experienced. How young people who have no experience of runnung any business will succeed. Industies in the country are closed for 5 days a week due to nonsypply of gas and gas is provided only for 2 days in a week. How the country’s economy can improve is unknown? Rs.100 billion allocated for businesses by youth are going to be wasted and the banks which will provide these loans are bound to suffer as was done previously when Habib Bank Ltd. suffered heay losses when Nawaz Sharif introduced taxi scheme. The fate of this scheme will not be different from the fate of taxi scheme. The scheme has been launched to divert the attention of the youth from the burning problems of unemployment and rising prices in the country and also as a political bribery to win local body elections next month as was done by distributing lap-tops to students worth billions of rupees which were distributed before general elections. This scheme is nothing except robbery of national exchequer and is bound to fail. Mariam Nawaz, the daughter of P.M. who has been made Incharge of this scheme. has no experience of banking and is totally inexperienced.


  • Sikandar Ali Khokhar
    Dec 10, 2013 - 9:37PM

    Though, this step is taken with good intention, but if there isn’t any Business opportunity provided in the country for entrepreneurs n toddlers, how would they b able to invest their borrowed wealth properly…?? Wouldn’t it be more better step to provide students some expert-ideas with that proposed loan, so that they could not feel themselves on risk in availing that decilition…


  • Tahir Rahman Gujjar
    Dec 12, 2013 - 11:06AM

    Prime minster is good ideaRecommend

  • farah
    Dec 19, 2013 - 12:19AM

    Wonderful publicity campaign for the political party but I see little disbursements happening under the progamme due to difficulties in finding a guarantor. Seriously, if I need to reach out to a guarantor, I dont need a PM Scheme, I can get the loan myself.

    Had the Government allocated the 100BLN into a YOUTH Venture Capital Fund and participated as an equity partner, then a creditor, there would be better enterpreneur development. banks will have no incentive to build and guide the young enterpreneurs given that they are lending on the strength of the guarantor, from whom they will collect is things turn sour and the loan goes bad.


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