Islamabad, February 14, 2014 (PPI-OT): Chairperson Prime Minister’s Youth Programme, Ms.Maryam Nawaz held a meeting with U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, Ms. Cathy Russell
During the meeting, matters of mutual interests, especially government’s initiatives to empower women, came under discussion. The Chairperson apprised the visiting ambassador, “Government is focused on creating new job opportunities for the youth through the promotion of SMEs in the country. Prime Minister’s Small Business Loan Scheme is a milestone in this regard”.
The Chairperson said, “Women constitute almost 52% of 190 Million population of the country. There are 60 special seats reserved for women In Pakistan’s National Assembly, Women are 25% of the workforce in the country, especially in rural areas. They are actively contributing in agriculture, industry, banks, telecommunication and marketing.
Maryam Nawaz Sharif added, “PML(N) government is fully committed to economic empowerment of women. Government also wants to impart vocational training to women through Youth Skill Development Scheme. Women would be professionally trained in skills like cookery, bakery and would be provided a monthly stipend worth 3-5 thousand rupees, for a period of 6 months. The government will bear their fee. 800 million rupees have been allocated for this programme”.
The Chairperson highlighted, “Government intends to promote entrepreneurial skills in women. Prime minister’s Youth Business Loan Scheme has reserved 50% loans for women. This scheme includes many women-specific trades like bakery and confectionary, catering and decoration services, montessori school, beauty clinic, interior decoration, day care centre and boutique”. She added, “Besides the provision of business loans to the women, Government is also focused on providing them technical training through handholding programme”.
Ms. Cathy Russell appreciated the efforts of the government for economic revival of the country by empowering and engaging the youth, especially women, and assured her country’s maximum support in this regard.
Later in the day, Chairperson Prime Minister’s Youth Programme, Maryam Nawaz Sharif chaired meeting on Hand Holding Programme. It was attended by a young parliamentarian along with secretary Food Security and Research, Secretary Industry, Secretary Information and other officers concerned. A complete overview of the Hand Holding programme was presented in the meeting.
The Chairperson asked the authorities concerned to devise a fool-proof framework of the programme. She also directed to gradually expand operations of this programme so that business loan awardees throughout the country.could benefit. She added, “We would not only give cheques to the loan seekers but would also assist them in running their businesses. Special arrangements, if necessary, should be made for this purpose”.
The Chairperson also said, “Loan seekers should also be provided with all necessary information by making use of modern technology, especially the internet. A website should be developed carrying links of all the relevant departments to provide all kind of information to facilitate people applying for the loan”.
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