PR No. 126 Islamabad: 20 Sept. 2016.

The Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar chaired a meeting here today to review the performance of the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund. CEO PPAF, Qazi Azmat Isa briefed the Finance Minister on the progress of the Prime Minister’s Interest Free Loan Scheme under the banner of PPAF.

The Meeting was informed that with an allocation of Rs 3.5 billion, the scheme had reached a total of 207720 borrowers by end August 2016.Those included 127,697 (61%) women and 80,023 (39%) males. Up to Rs.50, 000/- are given to each borrower under the scheme and this amount has a 99% recovery rate. With 26 partner organizations, PPAF is presently disbursing the interest free loans in 44 Districts and 287 Union Councils. The total amount disbursed to the borrowers till the end of August 2016 has reached Rs.4.518 billion through 233 loan centers.

The target areas for the loans are areas with low socio-economic indicators, high food insecurity and low or no coverage by conventional micro-finance. The Prime Minister’s Interest Free Loan scheme not only provides loans to the consumers but also gives them business advisory services. A consumer graduates from dependency to sufficiency and then his/her links are established with microfinance institutions and markets. It is an all encompassing scheme where people are dealt with respect and guidance is provided on each step and a social change automatically comes into effect.

The Finance Minister appreciated the work so far done by the PPAF to further the PM’s Interest Free Loan Scheme. He desired that every effort should be made to export the coverage and increase the total volume of loans extended. He appreciated that the scheme was presently covering 61% females.“The success of the scheme speaks volumes about the hard work and commitment by the government for the people of the country. He added that the scheme would bring a quality difference in the lives of the people.

The Minister assured the PPAF of support in its efforts to make the scheme more effective. Senior officials of the Economic Affairs Division and Ministry of Finance participated in the meeting.