April 2, 2021 at 6:29 am
Chitral Times Report
PESHAWAR: In order to promote small and medium entrepreneurship and cottage industry in the newly merged districts, the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has signed an agreement with Akhuwat Foundation to launch Interest Free Microfinance Scheme (IFMS) through which small scale loans upto Rs. 75,000 would be provided to entrepreneurs of merged areas. The interest free loan scheme will consist of revolving fund of Rs. one billion. Under the said scheme, 25% quota has been allocated for females, 5% for special persons and 2% for transgenders.
A ceremony to this effect was held here at Chief Minister House on Thursday with Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan as chief guest. Special Assistant to CM on Industries Abdul Kareem, Secretary Industries Javed Marwat, Chief Executive Officer Akhuwat Foundation Dr. Amjad Saqib and other concerned high ups also attended the ceremony. Industry Department Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Akhuwat Foundation formally signed an agreement. This interest free loan scheme is being executed through Akhuwat Islamic Microfinance which is already implementing an interest free scheme worth Rs. 500 million in merged areas. This is the second important scheme which will be implemented through Akhuwat Islamic Microfinance under which more than 219,000 people of merged areas would be facilitated over a period of next 13 years. Loans would be totally interest free and will be provided purely on merit.
Addressing the ceremony, the chief minister Mahmood Khan termed this initiative as another important step of the provincial government towards the economic prosperity of tribal districts adding that small and medium entrepreneurship and cottage industry was the backbone of national economy. He said that incumbent government was going all out to develop that sector which had been neglected in the past and added that Prime Minister Imran Khan was taking keen interest in uplifting that important sector.
Mahmood Khan said that SMEs and cottage industry could not flourish without financial support, that’s why the government was going all out to provide financial grants and Rs. 4.00 billion had been allocated under the project ‘economic growth and job creation’ for the purpose. Touching upon the government’s strategy for the development of merged districts, the chief minister said that the incumbent government was taking result oriented steps to make youth of tribal districts financially empowered. He added that the people of tribal districts suffered in past but now government was going all out to provide relief to them so that the sense of deprivation among them could be removed. Mahmood Khan underlined that provision of interest free loans to marginalized segment of society was another important step towards the realization of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision of Riayast-e-Madina. He stated that the provincial government would also start interest free loan scheme for the settle districts in phases starting from the backward areas.