PR No.44 Over 90,000 Households Benefit From Prime Minister’s Interest Free Loan Scheme Islamabad: December 4, 2015

As many as 90,756 borrowers (60 % women) have so far received loans worth Rs. 1,973 million under Prime Minister’s Interest Free Loan (PMIFL) Scheme in 287 union councils of target 44 districts across Pakistan.

Prime Minister Mian Muahammad Nawaz Sharif had inaugurated the Rs. 3.5 billion PMIFL Scheme in June 2014 to support microenterprise activities for the poor in rural areas with poverty score card upto40. The PMIFL Scheme is being implemented by Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund through its 25 partner organizations.

Maximum up to Rs. 50,000 and average at Rs. 20,000, these loans are being made available to the poor and marginalized who have a viable business idea. The Scheme is intended to reach out to 1 million poor and needy people in next three years.

Chairperson Leila Khan states the objectives of PMIFL Scheme are to make interest free loans available to the poor and vulnerable, with women being 50 per cent of the borrowers, to augment economic activities in the country. Loans and business advisory services are provided to the poor and unbanked at their doorstep so that they can have access to financial services, set up their businesses and transform their lives.It is ensured that these loans are used for productive purposes and beneficiaries become self-sufficient from dependents in fulfilling their household needs.

The allocation of funds has been ensured to the districts with low socio-economic indicators, high food insecurity and low or no coverage by conventional microfinance.To channelize the PMIFL Scheme to union council-based rural communities, development of a business-eco system termed as the Plusdimension is encouraged under which beneficiaries are imparted training, provided business advisory services, facilitated in linkages development with markets, microfinance institutions & microfinance banks through graduation process. Loans are disbursed through Loan Centres and every branch/loan center has a Karobar Rahnumai Markaz (business advisory services) to guide beneficiaries towards productive enterprises.

Like other steps of the government aimed at the welfare of the poor and marginalized segments of society, the PMIFL Scheme has reached out to the poorest to enable them to stand on their own feet, come out of the vicious cycle of poverty and contribute towards stability in the country.

In the first phase, the PMIFL Scheme is being implemented in the districts of JhalMagsi, Kharan, Khuzdar, Qilla Abdullah, Lasbella, Loraalai, Pishin, Quetta (rural), Ziarat, Zhob, Charsada, Chitral, DI Khan, Haripur, Mansehra, Swabi, Swat, Badin, Dadu, Ghotki, Karachi, Kashmore, Khairpur, Sanghar, Shikarpur, Tharparkar, Thatta, Bahawalnagar, Bhakkar, D.G. Khan, Rajanpur, Jhang, Khushab, Layyah, Lodhran, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Hattian, Ghanche, Skardu, Nankana Sahib, Narowal, South Waziristan and Haveli.