Streamline PM’s Youth Programme

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UNDER the umbrella of PM’s Youth Programme, several programmes ranging from loan scheme to skill development were launched by present government with much fanfare. The aim was to help the youth that constitute majority of our population, stand on their own feet but the programme has so far failed to make any meaningful impact on the society because of certain limitations and stringent measures.
Starting with the flagship youth business loan scheme, it was launched back in December 2013 but despite the passage of more than two and a half years only about 8200 clients have benefited from this scheme. In fact the PM himself has expressed dissatisfaction over the slow pace of disbursements and denial in credit to the applicants. Due to stringent measures, the interest of youth has also faded which can explicitly be gauged by making a comparison between the number of applicants in 2014 and now. Within six months of announcement of the scheme, the NBP received over 60,000 applications but now about one to two hundred people are applying quarterly. We, therefore, will suggest simplifying the procedures of loan scheme and dropping preconditions such as that of experience in order to motivate the youth to constructively join the scheme. It will be more appropriate if this scheme is integrated with the skill development programme. Anybody completing six month training in different demand driven skills should be given preference to get loans under business loan scheme. Government had also launched an interest free loan scheme but the loan given under this head is so meagre and the procedure so hilarious that it frustrates its own objectives. It will be better if the government either abandon this scheme or enhance its allocations to reasonable level so that the people poor could also start a respectable business. Much criticized is the laptop scheme, which was meant for outstanding students of higher education is victim of mismanagement and lacks transparency. There is a genuine need to review and streamline the procedures and plug the loopholes to translate the declared vision into reality.