ISLAMABAD: While declining to talk about the financial and oil support from Saudi Arabia, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Wednesday announced expansion of the Kamyab Jawan Programme.
Addressing a news conference after presiding over a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet, Dr Shaikh said he would refrain from talking about the details of Saudi financial support or oil facility at this stage, as such bilateral issues remain under discussion.
However, Special Assistant to the PM on Petroleum Nadeem Babar said Pakistan had requested Saudi Arabia to extend the oil facility on deferred payment after the expiry of one-year agreement between the two countries for provision of $3.2 billion worth of oil.
“We have requested Saudi Arabia for the extension in the oil facility on deferred payment, but I can’t say when it will get renewed or what would be its final size,” Mr Babar said, adding that a impression had been created that Saudi Arabia had refused to extend the oil facility on deferred payment. The renewal of the agreement was a normal process, he insisted.
He said Pakistan could not utilise the entire facility of $3.2bn in the first year ending May 2020 and hence they asked for a lower facility for a subsequent year. “Now we have requested for renewal for another year.”
Dr Shaikh said the limit for Kamyab Jawan Programme had been increased by five times — from a maximum of Rs5 million to Rs25m while mark-up rates had also been halved from 6pc and 8pc to 3pc and 4pc. He said the lower mark-up rate would also be applicable to those who had already availed loans under the previous scheme.
Mr Shaikh said economic indicators had been showing positive development, citing 6pc increase in exports that were recorded around $2 billion in July 2020. The revenue collection during the first month of the current fiscal, he said, was also recorded at Rs300bn, which was 23pc more than the collection of the same month last year.
Special Assistant to the PM on Youth Affairs Mohammad Usman Dar said the government would start registering the youth under the second phase of Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme from August 13. He invited the youth to visit KamyabJawan.gov.pk website from Thursday and apply for the concessionary loans, to be offered under the second phase. The rejected candidate of the first phase of programme could also register themselves under the second phase for availing soft loans.
Mr Dar said that Rs100bn had been allocated for the first phase of scheme, which would eventually create one million jobs.
Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2020