Government committed to empowering youth: Nawaz

* PM says reducing energy crisis top priority of his government
Government committed to empowering youth: Nawaz

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Friday that the PML-N government was committed to empowering the youth by providing them Rs 3.7 billion in easy loans.
The prime minister said this would not only help the country but also strengthen national economy. Speaking at the first balloting ceremony of the PM Business Youth Loan Programme, Nawaz said that in the past up to 70 percent of youth population had no access to loans, as only the influential businessmen were eligible to get loans from banks. He said the youth would lead the nation, noting that in the developed countries 80 percent of youth were playing their role in strengthening the economy.
The prime minister said these youth would come forward and start their own businesses in various sectors which would not only benefit them but also others who would be employed in these businesses. Nawaz recalled that he had not raised the slogan of changing the destiny of the nation just to get votes, rather he was committed to providing jobs to people and make them respectable citizens.
Prime Minister Nawaz said that around 36,000 applications were received for the loans –2,800 from Punjab, 600 from Islamabad Capital Territory, 3,500 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 100 from Gilgit-Baltistan, 1,000 from Balochistan and 3,000 from Sindh. Out of these applications, he said, 6,000 were selected for balloting, of which 5,399 would be given loans. The premier said the applicants were selected according to the provincial quota and said the target for 2014 is 100,000 applicants. He said that the successful candidates would be informed through SMS. 
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that country’s GDP showed a growth of five percent during the first quarter of the current fiscal year, 17 percent increase in taxes while the industrial growth was recorded 6.6 percent till December 2013. He said that in the beginning, the government had to take some tough decisions. “Nothing was done for the uplift of country in the past and that was why the people were suffering from long hours of power load shedding,” said Nawaz, adding that reducing the energy crisis was the top priority of his government.

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