Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Monday chaired a meeting to review progress on Prime Minister’s Interest Free Loan Scheme.

The meeting also discussed matters related to Pakistan Micro-finance Investment Company (PMIC) and financing programme of Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF).

Qazi Azmat Isa, Chief Executive Officer, PPAF, apprised the meeting that under the Interest Free Loan Scheme, Rs.3.5 billion had been allocated out of which more than 90% amount has already been disbursed in the form of 132,000 loans with 100% recovery rate. He said that 60% of the beneficiaries were females. The meeting was also informed that 250 centers were opened across Pakistan for providing advisory services to the beneficiaries and the loans have been best utilized.

On the occasion, the minister also sought report on the progress regarding the PMIC. The meeting was informed that the PPAF is actively pursuing matters regarding incorporation of PMIC with SECP as non-banking finance company. The meeting was also informed that PPAF has equity share of Rs.3.5 billion in the company while German KfW and DFID are contributing $70 million in equity. DFID is also providing $30 million as loan for PMIC.

Speaking on the occasion, Dar emphasized PPAF’s role in reaching out to the most deserving segments of the society and contributing to efforts for financial inclusion. CEO, PPAF informed that the Fund has chalked out special program that will benefit deserving and needy persons in underserved. People in these areas would be extended vocational training and assistance through the asset transfer, enabling them to earn respectable livelihood and avail economic opportunities. The meeting was informed that the asset transfer program of the PPAF has yielded positive results and greatly benefitted the most deprived segments of the society which has been validated by independent studies jointly carried out by Havard and MIT.