Continuing its focus on the youth and underserved segments of society, the government has announced the launch of the Kamyab Pakistan Programme (KPP). This is an ambitious programme under which the projected disbursement would be Rs1.6 trillion over the period of three years. While such plans have been discussed in the past, they never came to fruition because of the government’s failure in getting the banking sector on board.

The programme is a much needed one which aims to uplift 4.5 million under-privileged households registered with the National Socio-Economic Registry (NSER) of the Ehsaas programme. As part of this initiative, micro-loans will be offered to entrepreneurs, small businessmen and farmers enabling them to access micro credit at zero mark-up without collateral. The government’s emphasis on such issues must be lauded, especially considering the damage caused to the economy by the ongoing pandemic.

This injection from the fiscal side will be crucial for reviving our economy and will enable under-privileged families to escape the vicious cycle of poverty. If this programme ends up being successful, the gains will be exponential once the multiplier effect kicks in, particularly if small businesses start flourishing across the country. Such measures will also help alleviate the unemployment issue that exists currently. This is extremely important considering how Pakistan’s median age is 22.8 and 64 percent of the population is under 30. Therefore, the creation of jobs will be enormously beneficial and will also help stem the flow of brain drain from the country.

Another positive aspect of this programme is the fact that it will integrate the government’s ongoing skill development initiative for educational and vocal training. Starting from 2018, the government has consistently built on its efforts to facilitate youth and small businesses across the country. This consistency must be maintained going forward if broad-based development is to be achieved.