Govt decides to scale back Kamyab Pakistan Programme initiative

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250,000 jobs created under Naya Pakistan Housing Authority
250,000 jobs created under Naya Pakistan Housing Authority
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The government has decided to scale back the size and scope of the Kamyab Pakistan Programme (KPP) aimed at addressing “legitimate” concerns of the bureaucracy and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), reports Express Tribune.

Sources told The Express Tribune that the government has now decided to begin a pilot project of the programme first instead of launching the initiative across the country.

In a bid to bring the skin of commercial banks in the game, it has also been decided to reduce cover of the sovereign guarantees against potential losses being sustained by the banks to 50%, they added. Earlier, the federal cabinet had approved to pick 100% losses.

A brainchild of Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin to financially empower the lowest income groups, the government had initially planned to give interest-free-to-subsidised loans to 30 million people across the country and disburse Rs1.6 trillion loans in three years.

Under the KPP, the government wants to give micro-loans to entrepreneurs, businessmen and farmers at 0% mark-up without collateral.

The key focus is to provide loans at the lowest strata. Now the number of beneficiaries and the size will be cut. The decision will also reduce the subsidies requirements which were earlier estimated at Rs256 billion, the sources added.

The internal steering committee of the project has decided that the government should first launch the pilot project of the KPP, the Ministry of Finance confirmed to The Express Tribune on Wednesday.

An official maintained that the pilot project would begin in a few poverty-stricken districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan initially. Only after seeing its success, will a full-blown programme be launched.

The sources said the pilot project would likely continue for one year to see the appetite among the borrowers and mitigate the risks. They said it may take a few more weeks to finalise the modalities of the revised programme before a pilot project is launched.

Sources noted that the IMF had also objected to giving loans at a mass scale without the pilot project and more importantly it opposed providing 100% cover to bank losses.

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The Fund was of the view that the government should not breach the limit of guarantees and also take care of its growing debt, as these indicators do not support a mass scale Rs1.6 trillion programme.

The finance ministry and other government departments had also advised the political leadership to exercise caution and conduct due diligence on the cost, service charges being paid to partner banks and microfinance institutions that would disburse these loans and the beneficiaries.

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