musharraf launches rozgar scehme to fight unemployment

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    Musharraf launches Rozgar scehme to fight unemployment

    * NBP to give loans to 2.5 million people* Rs 20 billion project to be completed in 3 to 5 years

    Staff Report

    ISLAMABAD: President General Pervez Musharraf launched theRozgar Pakistan scheme on Tuesday, and said it would helpunemployed youth and women in underdeveloped areas.

    Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz also attended the launch of the scheme,which, according to Musharraf, would help poor people earn asustainable income in the society. This is a very good and practicalscheme and it will immensely benefit the lower strata of oursociety, APP quoted the president as saying. The president toldreporters that under the scheme, the National Bank of Pakistanwould provide loans on easy installments to around 2.5 million unemployed people.

    The project would provide employment opportunities to young people, he said, adding that the Rs 20 billionscheme, to be completed in three to five years, would focus on underdeveloped areas and benefit millions ofpeople.

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    Such schemes have more application and significance in Balochistan where educated youth must get jobopportunities to contribute to the socio-economic uplift of the province, he added. Musharraf said he had askedAziz to introduce an internship scheme for graduates in Balochistan.

    APP adds: The president underlined the importance of effective and efficient implementation of the scheme to ridthe society of unemployment.

    National Bank of Pakistan President Ali Raza, who attended the launch as well, said, The bank will give amaximum loan of Rs 200,000 to an individual, and it will have to be repaid in five years. He said that the schemecovered utility stores, transport, public call offices (PCO) and tele-centres.

    Raza said that forms for loans would be available at 1,200 branches of the bank all over the country fromWednesday. Raza said the scheme contained elements of similar schemes that had been successful in Bangladesh,Indonesia and Vietnam. The National Bank of Pakistan president said it was President Musharrafs vision to reduceunemployment. He said that qualified matriculates between the age of 18 and 40 were eligible to get loans fromthe National Bank of Pakistan . The government would share the interest on these loans and customers would haveto pay only a six per cent mark-up,he added.

    The president and prime minister went around stalls of an exhibition organised in connection with the launch of thescheme

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    1,100 offered loans under Rozgar schemeShare

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    Published 2007-02-24 00:00:00

    KARACHI, Feb 23: President of National Bank of Pakistan Ali Reza said on Friday that

    1,100 unemployed persons had been offered assistance under the NBP Karobar

    scheme so far since its launch in October 2006. The bank has plans to expand this

    number to 1.8 million jobless people in next five years with a total loan amount of

    Rs105 billion.

    The NBP president announced an extensive launching of the scheme from March 31

    onwards through 1,000 branch network in the country. In his first presentation to the media

    on Friday at the NBP conference room, Mr Ali Reza elaborated on various aspects of the

    NBP Karobar that was launched as Rozgar scheme by the government.

    Under NBP Karobar, five different financial packages are being offered to the unemployedpersons between 18 and 45 years of age. These are: (1) Utility Store under a franchise, (2) a

    mobile general store, (3) transport, (4) PCO and (5) a tele-centre

    This is not a political gimmick, the NBP president took pains to dispel this impression and

    stressed that the NBP Karobar is a unique product that has been launched as a viable public

    private partnership commercial proposition after tremendous research and study of similar

    schemes in India, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Thailand.

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    He made it clear that the NBP Karobar was not a consumer financing product. The consumer

    financing does not generate income or economic benefits to the beneficiary of the loan but it

    creates some comfort.

    But the NBP Karobar in its present five categories will generate income and economic benefit

    and after the full loan is paid in two to five years, the beneficiary of the loan will become

    owner of the asset, he added.

    His assessment was that the beneficiary of this loan will be able to earn income between

    Rs10,000 to Rs18,000 a month after he has paid all instalments and becomes owner of the

    facility.

    Mr. Reza spoke at length to point out that the governments Rozgar scheme announced by

    the minister of state for finance in his budget speech in June and later launched by the NBP

    as Karobar scheme has nothing to do with the employment schemes like yellow cab or

    similar other projects.

    The applicant will contribute about 30 to 40 per cent of the cost of product to be offered tohim under the scheme while the NBP will offer 60 per cent, he said adding that the

    governments contribution in the scheme is six per cent interest subsidy, loss sharing, free life

    and disability insurance and registration for the recovery of assets of NBP throughout

    Pakistan.

    Mr Reza did concede that the progress on Karobar scheme was slow because like all retail

    products, we are passing through a learning phase and trying to understand problems. His

    other explanation for slow progress was that it was launched in October when it was

    Ramazan. The progress remained slow in November and December but picked up tempo in

    January and reports suggest further improvement in February.

    He justified association of two companies with the scheme for offering the product because

    he said the idea was to ensure availability of products, uninterrupted supply of spare parts

    and after-sales-service. But with the course of time he said more products will be offered in

    the scheme and its scope will be enlarged.

    This scheme is not structured exclusively for the NBP, he declared adding that it was open

    for all the banks to participate.

    Earlier Mr Aamir Siddiqui of the bank announced relaxation of certain requirements, which

    include age, driving licence, education, character certificate, guarantor and reduction in down

    payment to 10 per cent from 15 per cent.

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    NBP okays two new schemes for jobless

    By Sabihuddin Ghausi

    KARACHI, Dec 27: Despite numerous hurdles in its way in all four provinces,

    officials of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) say that they have delivered green

    rickshaws and some other equipment worth more than Rs2 billion to 20,309

    unemployed people in the last ten months under the most expensive and glamorous

    employment generation scheme of the country.

    Formally called the Presidents Rozgar Scheme, the NBP proposed that it would

    disburse about Rs85 billion in the next five years to some half a million unemployed

    persons.

    The bank has now finalised two new products for inclusion from early 2008 in the

    scheme. Besides loans for transport, the NBP is now preparing to help uneducated

    medical graduates by offering primary health care kits and four wheelers to be used as

    taxis and good carriers.

    Out of more than 20,000 accounts of the unemployed in the last ten months, only 203

    accounts involving Rs18.28 million have been found to be irregular, confided a

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    senior official.

    Of these irregular accounts, 107 are in Sialkot with a stake of Rs7.81 million and 83 in

    Central Lahore with Rs8.97 million.

    Five products of the scheme were announced in 2006: the NBP Karobar Utility Storeunder franchise with the Utility Stores Corporation (USC), NBP Karobar Mobile

    General Store without franchise, NBP Karobar Transport, NBP Karobar Public Call

    Office (PCO) and NBP Karobar Tele-Centre.

    The NBP is now enlarging its scheme by launching new products.

    After a soft launch in October 2006 and full launch on March 31, 2007 through 1,000

    designated branches of the bank, the transport scheme was most popular with the

    people and an overwhelming majority of the 20,309 unemployed applicants had

    utilised the gas-run green rickshaws in the last ten months.

    The NBP officials claimed that there was no chance of any political intervention in the

    sc