Policies to counter internal and external threats successful: Nawaz

* PM says today’s Pakistan is more stable and more democratic * Merit and transparency should be hallmark of youth business laon scheme
Policies to counter internal and external threats successful: Nawaz

KARACHI: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Saturday Pakistan was more stable and democratic today as “sound policies to counter external as well as internal threats are bringing results”.
Addressing the 100th Midshipmen Commissioning and 9th SSC Class passing out parade of Pakistan Navy, the prime minister said that Pakistan’s maritime defence was impregnable and Pakistan Navy was a capable and professional force.
He said that he was fully convinced that the navy would prove its mettle in safeguarding maritime integrity of the country.
“I assure you that the nation stands firmly behind you and shall ensure that Pakistan Navy is equipped with latest weaponry and technology to safeguards national frontiers.”
The recent induction of indigenously made frigates, fast attack surface-to-surface missiles capacity and the acquisition of six modified P3C aircraft with latest avionics/sensors into 
Pakistan Navy would significantly add to the combat potential of the Pakistan Navy fleet, the prime minister said.
He said that Pakistan Navy had a proud history and had performed with excellence whether it was Operation Dwarka in 1965 war, submarine operation of 1971 or supporting the civilian governments in times of natural calamities like earthquakes or floods.
The prime minister said that it gave him immense pleasure to review the passing out parade at the Pakistan Naval Academy. He complimented all those officers and staff, who over the years have played their part in making this national institution a centre of excellence among regional maritime training institutes.
The prime minister stated that Pakistan Naval Academy has come a long way since its inception in 1970. The wide range of subjects related to marine sciences, being taught in the academy, speaks volume of the standards being set by the academy, he added.
Furthermore, the ISO certification of the academy is a proof in itself of the quality education being imparted on the young cadets in this alma-mater, he said.
The prime minister expressed his confidence that in the coming years, Pakistan Naval Academy would achieve even more successes by the grace of God.
He added, “Pakistan Navy is a unique force in the sense that it not only commands our maritime frontiers but is also trained to encounter our enemies on ground as well as in air.”
“This is a significant task to accomplish and I congratulate you, your parents and the faculty of Pakistan Naval Academy for extending invaluable contribution in your remarkable upbringing and grooming as responsible officers,” he added.
Separately, the prime minister reviewed the progress on youth business loan scheme during a meeting at the NBP Headquarters and gave directions to soften up conditions for guarantors of loans so that maximum number of youth could benefit from the scheme.
He also emphasised that all barriers should be removed to ensure easy and smooth processing of applications for loans and their disbursement. He said that merit and transparency should be hallmark of the loan scheme
The prime minister was given a detailed briefing on the scheme with special emphasis on the receipt of applications and their scrutiny. He directed that the implementation of the scheme rules should be in a manner that it facilitates the applicants. 
He directed the NBP president to personally supervise the scheme. The issue of the guarantors was discussed in detail during the meeting.
The prime minister was informed that in order to facilitate the applicants, three categories of guarantors have been identified: firstly a Grade-15 or above government officer, secondly any civilian person having an amount of net worth of 1.5 times the amount of loan applied for and thirdly if a person has a running business and wants to expand it, he can be his own guarantor if he has net worth of 1.5 times the loan amount in National Bank or any other bank from where the loan is disbursed.
The prime minister approved the additional category of combined guarantors i.e. a single applicant would now be able to provide combined guarantee of more than one guarantor for his loan.
Nawaz Sharif said that banks should facilitate the applicants and the service delivery mechanism should be improved based upon the valuable suggestions/feedback received from the public, adding that the standard of services for these applicants should be the same as given to the commercial borrowers.
He advised the bank officers working on the loan scheme to consider it a service to the nation. He emphasised on merit and transparency in the scheme so that only the deserving and genuine persons could get the loan.

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