ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that instead of indulging in the politics of leg-pulling and unnecessary criticism political parties should forge unity to take the country on road to progress and prosperity.
Addressing at the second balloting of Prime Minsiter’s Youth Business Loan Scheme ceremony here at Convention Centre here on Wednesday, the PM without naming Pakistan Tehreek-I-Insaf said that those who have failed to deliver in a province and those who were rejected by the people with the power of their votes should wait till the next general elections and let the government complete its progressive economic reforms agenda.
Terming the federal budget 2014-15 ‘very good’, the Premier said that it would not spur inflation, boost investment, promote development and ease the masses.
Those present on the occasion included Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Chairperson PM’s Youth Loan Scheme Maryam Nawaz, Governor State Bank Ashraf Mahmood Wathra and President of the National Bank of Pakistan Iqbal Ashraf.
The Prime Minister said the country by and large had achieved all the economic targets during the outgoing fiscal year with 16.4 percent growth in revenue collection in 11 months against 3 percent last year.
Referring to the country’s economic situation that when he took oath of office on June 5, 2013, he said his government had to immediately focus on the preparation of budget for 2013-14.
The country, which had achieved over 16% growth in revenue collection this year, could also achieve even 116% growth if the youth, who were getting loans under the Business Loan Scheme, strived for successful businesses and contributed to the national economy, he added.
The Prime Minister said the countries like Germany, Japan and America had achieved the current level of socio-economic development by facilitating and encouraging their middle and lower middle classes to establish their own businesses.
The Prime Minister said he had conceived the idea of youth business loan scheme during the 1990s, but he could not implement it due to economic problems and sanctions faced by the country in the wake of 1998 nuclear explosions.
“If the scheme was launched in the 1990s, the economic situation would have been very different today,” he remarked.
Nawaz Sharif said after coming to power last year, the government started this scheme so that the youth could not only earn a respectable living but also contribute to the national economy.
“The rich get loans easily, but the poor seeking credit are not even allowed to enter the banks,” he remarked. He said the axis of his thoughts was the poor, who were always worried about their night’s meal, shelter, wedding of daughters or sisters, medical needs etc.
“There are so many people, who want to engage themselves in any small business like livestock farming and agriculture, but they do not have resources,” he said.
He also referred to the Livestock Insurance Scheme announced by the Finance Minister in the budget speech under which, he said, the premium would be paid by the government.
Due to this scheme, the capital of those investing in livestock farming would be protected in case of any casualty, he added.
The Prime Minister said the Business Loan Scheme would enable thousands of youth to gain financial independence.
The Prime Minister directed the Governor State Bank to engage private banks for participating in these schemes.
“Our government, in a short period of only eight months re-activated and completed this project which shows our commitment to solve the energy crisis,” he maintained.
Moreover, the Prime Minister said that a multi-purpose mega project, Diamer-Bhasha dam, at a cost of $ 12 billion and having 4500 MW generation capacity was being undertaken which would not only help meet power needs but also manage water resources, which were being wasted.
The Prime Minister also referred to $ 35 billion Pak-China conomic corridor that would change the fate of the country.
He said that work on Karachi-Lahore motorway would he initiated soon as Rs 55 billion had been allocated for land acquisition that is to be completed in three months.
The Prime Minister said “We should not indulge in politics of leg pulling and unnecessary criticism.”
“People have shown their confidence in us during last elections and they will again vote for us in 2018 based on our performance,” he added.
The Prime Minister also read out his written speech in which other five schemes of the PM’s Youth Programme were elaborated.
Later, the Prime Minister performed the second computerized balloting of the Youth Business Loan Scheme in which 5169 loans were awarded to the applicants, whose applications were approved by NBP.
It may be noted that 50 per cent quota was reserved for women besides martyrs and special persons.
The Prime Minister also distributed cheques among some successful candidates of first balloting.
He directed the NBP President to forward all the cheques to successful applicants by June 15.