PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to launch a Rs2 billion interest-free loan initiative, Insaf Rozgar Scheme (IRS), for all districts of the province except merged ones.
The decision was made during the provincial cabinet’s meeting held last Thursday.
The cabinet decided that the Rs2 billion leftover funds of the Khud Khalafat Scheme would be distributed to launch an interest-free loan scheme on the pattern of IRS, which was launched for merged tribal districts earlier this year.
The documents available with Dawn show that the initiative would cover all districts of the province, excluding merged districts, where a similar programme was launched earlier in the year.
The details show that the government had launched various special initiatives and schemes between 2011 and 2013, including Bacha Khan Khpal Rozgar Scheme, Pakhtunkhwa Hunarmand Rozgar scheme and Riwayati Hunmarmand Scheme, which are being executed by the Bank of Khyber.
Insaf Rozgar Scheme won’t cover merged districts as similar initiative launched there earlier this year
The summary for the initiative said the cabinet decided on Nov 4, 2013, to merge the initiatives under the umbrella of the Khud Khafalat Scheme (KKS) with the major objective to overcome unemployment, poverty alleviation and generate economic opportunities through provision of interest free loans ranging from Rs50,000 to Rs200,000.
“The KKS was formally launched in Jan 2014 with an outlay of Rs2 billion and under the programme a total of 22,454 businesses were extended loan facility,” it read.
It said following the 25th Constitutional Amendment and merger of the erstwhile Fata with the province, a project by the name of the Insaf Rozgar Scheme for merged districts was approved by the Provincial Development Working Party on Jan 29, 2019, at the cost of Rs1.1 billion funds for the IRS in the merged district had been provided under the Accelerated Implementation Programme from Public Sector Development Programme in June 2019.
Under this initiative, interest-free loans amounting to Rs50,000-Rs1 million are being disbursed to the professional degree holders, formal and information skilled workers, women and general businesses in the region.
It said the cabinet in its meeting on June 14, 2019, decided that Rs2 billion out of the remaining KKS funds should be diverted to the tourism and youth affairs department for the startup programme for talented youth, while the remaining amount would be at the disposal of the industries department for future job creation initiatives.
It added that it was decided on Aug 9, 2019, that the remaining Rs2 billion funds of the KKS may be utilised for re-launching a programme on the pattern of the IRS for merged districts for the rest of districts.
It said the industries department in consultation with the Bank of Khyber has proposed a Rs2 billion interest free scheme for all districts of province, excluding merged districts.
It said the chief minister had also ordered an independent impact analysis of the previous such programmes with the Bank of Khyber doing the task.
It said the findings of the consultant firm would be presented to the project steering committee of the scheme under the additional chief secretary of planning and development department for consideration and decisions.
The salient features of the initiative show that Rs2 billion will be disbursed under the programme, while the individual loans ranging from Rs50,000 to Rs500,000 will have the repayment period of 33 months with a grace period of three months.
The summary said funds would be distributed to districts on the basis of the Provincial Finance Commission Award and 78 per cent of funds would go to men, 20 per cent to women and two per cent as special persons.
The permanent residents of the province aged between 18 and 50 years and having doable business plans for startups or existing setups and clean credit history will be eligible for loans.
Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2019