- Premier says government has conveyed to the IMF that Pakistan will incorporate all its prior conditions to completing the 9th review
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Tuesday that Pakistan wants to complete the 9th review of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme “without any delay”.
Speaking at the launch ceremony of the ‘Prime Minister’s Youth Business and Agricultural Loan Scheme’, he said that “we have told the IMF that we are willing to complete the pending review and incorporate the conditions raised by it”.
His comments come as a stalemate between the government of Pakistan and IMF persists for the next tranche of the scheme at a time when foreign exchange reserves of the country have depleted to a critical level.
Meanwhile, elaborating on the loan scheme, the PM said that it will enable the youth to take loans of up to Rs7.5 million at a subsidised interest rate for a tenure of upto eight years.
“Borrowing of up to Rs500,000 will be free of interest and it can be paid back in three years,” he said. “People who take loans of Rs500,000 to Rs1.5 million will be charged 5% interest and they can pay it back in 7 years.”
He added that people borrowing Rs1.5 million to Rs7.5 million will pay 7% interest and the payback period is 8 years.
SBP fixes Rs30 bn target for PM’s Youth Loan Scheme
Speaking on the occasion, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Jameel Ahmad said that the central bank has given a financing target of Rs30 billion to commercial banks and microfinance institutions for the ‘Prime Minister’s Youth Business and Agricultural Loan Scheme’.
He said 14,600 applications have been received under the programme for Rs17 billion worth of loans so far.
“SBP has given banks the facilities of mark-up subsidy and credit risk sharing for this scheme,” he said. “Under the initiative, the public can apply for interest-free loans of up to Rs500,000 without any collateral.”
According to the SBP governor, 15 banks and 5 microfinance banks and institutions are executors for the programme.
Boosting agriculture sector credit is among top priorities of the State Bank of Pakistan and the government, the central bank governor said.
“The SBP played a huge part in designing this programme and it is aimed at giving loans to youth in a transparent and easy manner,” he said.