Shehbaz Sharif distributes cheques under CM Self-Employment Scheme

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Mohammad Shehbaz Sharif has said that the CM Self Employment Scheme of the Punjab government is a revolutionary programme that is proving helpful in bridging the gap between poverty, unemployment, and the rich and the poor.

According to a DGPR hand-out issued here on Saturday, he expressed these views at a ceremony held at Badshahi Masjid in connection with the CM Self-Employment Scheme.

He said under this scheme, interest-free loans worth Rs 40 billion had been distributed in 18 lakh needy families in six years and 2.25 crore people had been benefited from the loans. He added that the return of loans was 99.9 per cent and today more than 60 crore rupees would be distributed in 25,000 families.

He said 1.8 million families in the Punjab had been given interest-free loans under the scheme due to which they were able to earn a respectful leaving. He added, on the one hand, there were great Pakistanis who had repaid the loans while, on the other hand, there were very rich persons who had got written off loans worth billions of rupees through approaches and bribes despite having Mercedes cars, factories and lucrative posts.

The CM said he saluted these great Pakistanis who had returned loans and used them with honesty and sincerity.

He said in this ceremony being held in this mosque we all pray that Allah Almighty give strength to governments, rulers, politicians and the rich that they take step ahead and hold hands of the poor.

He said the idea of this great programme came to my mind

when I had met Dr Amjad Saqib during my exile and at that time

Dictator Musharraf was ruling the country. He said I had prayed that the PML-N will work on this unique and innovative idea if it came to power so that millions of people can become self-employed. He said this idea came into my mind in 2005 and today is 2018, and I am satisfied and happy that Allah Almighty gave strength and enabled me to give practical shape to this program.

The chief minister said under this programme these great Pakistanis can get interest-free loans up to 50,000 rupees and this program is running across the Punjab simultaneously.

He said the Punjab Educational Endowment Fund was also such a historical measure through which resource-less students are getting higher education and by the next two months the number of beneficiaries from this fund will increase to three and a half lakh. He said under this programme thousands of girls and boys from poor families have completed their education and now serving the nation after becoming engineers, doctors, teachers and economies. He said talented students from

Balochistan, Azad Kashmir, KPK and Sindh have also been included in this programme. He said this is that revolutionary programme which is transforming Pakistan into a welfare state dreamt

by Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal.

The chief minister said if Allah Almighty gave us chance again to serve the country, the program will be started in all federating units of Pakistan so that Pakistanis get respectable employments and become self-reliant and we will bury begging once and a for all. He said we have given Azad Kashmir an amount of Rs 1.5 billion from our funds this year so that welfare projects move forward there.

Provincial ministers Rana Sanaullah Khan, Malik Nadeem Kamran, Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, Akhuwat Chief Dr Amjad Saqin and other people were also present.