Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday announced loan and laptop programmes for youth in an initiative aimed at promoting self-employment and entrepreneurship.
Addressing a ceremony in Islamabad, he said the people in the age bracket of 21 and 45 years could avail themselves of the loan facility of up to Rs7.5 million under these schemes. For IT and E-commerce businesses, the lower age limit is 18 years.
The prime minister said Pakistan was passing through difficult times and resolved that he would sacrifice all his political career and life for the sake of the country.
“I have served thrice as a chief minister of Punjab and now serving as a prime minister of the country. What legacy we will leave behind if these issues are not addressed? It is clear that Pakistan is facing huge challenges, and if we have taken responsibility, we will make our last-ditch efforts to steer the country out of the difficulties,” he stressed.
The prime minister said it was their collective responsibility as Pakistanis, politicians and Muslims to respond to the difficult situation, and he would not even desist from sacrificing his life for the country. He said in this path, problems would spring up but they would have to bear the pain. The people at the helm of affairs, politicians and the rich had to set an example as it was unfair to burden the poor with price hike and let the rich and elite enjoy country’s loans, he added.
Under the programme, youth would be extended loans upto Rs7.5 million on easy installments and soft interest rates. Up to Rs500,000 loan amount would be interest-free, he said.
The prime minister, expressing his optimism, said the youth had the potential and talent and together they would steer Pakistan out of the current issues. He praised them as “the shining stars on the horizon of the country”. He said the prime responsibility of addressing the country’s issues rested with the government. They took reigns of the government under the most difficult times but despite all these ordeals, their resolve grew stronger to make Pakistan stronger, he added.