ISLAMABAD: Chairperson Prime Minister’s Youth Programme, Maryam Nawaz on Friday said that government was fully committed to economic empowerment of women and would impart them vocational training through Youth Skill Development Scheme.
The women would be professionally trained in skills like cookery, bakery and provided a monthly stipend worth Rs. 3000 to 5000 for a period of 6 months.
The government will pay their fee as Rs. 800 million has been allocated for this programme, she said during a meeting with United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, Ms. Cathy Russell here.
During the meeting, matters of mutual interests, especially government’s initiatives to empower women came under discussion.
The Chairperson apprised the visiting ambassador “The government is focused on creating new job opportunities for the youth through promotion of SMEs in the country. Prime Minister’s Small Business Loan Scheme is a milestone in this regard.”
She said, “Women constitute almost 52 per cent of 190 million population of the country and there are 60 special seats reserved for women in Pakistan’s National Assembly.” Women are 25% of the workforce in the country, especially in rural areas, Maryam said and added they are actively contributing in agriculture, industry, banks, telecommunication and marketing.
The Chairperson highlighted, “The government intends to promote entrepreneurial skills in women as Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loan Scheme has reserved 50% loans for women.
This scheme includes many women-specific trades like bakery and confectionary, catering and decoration services, montessori school, beauty clinic, interior decoration, day care centre and boutique.
She said besides provision of business loans to the women, the government is also focusing on providing them technical training through programmes.
Ms. Cathy Russell appreciated efforts of the government for economic revival of the country by empowering and engaging the youth, especially women, and assured her country’s maximum support in this regard.
Later in the day, Chairperson Prime minister’s Youth Programme, Maryam Nawaz chaired a meeting on Hand Holding Programme which was attended by a young parliamentarian along with Secretary Food Security and Research, Secretary Industry, Secretary Information and other officers concerned.
A complete overview of the Hand Holding Programme was presented in the meeting.
The Chairperson asked the authorities concerned to devise a fool-proof framework of the programme and also directed to gradually expand operations of this programme so that business loan awardees throughout the country could benefit.
“We would not only give cheques to the loan seekers but also assist them in running their businesses. Special arrangements, if necessary, should be made for this purpose,” she said.
She said, “Loan seekers should also be provided with all necessary information by making use of modern technology, especially the internet. A website should be developed carrying links of all the relevant departments to provide all kind of information to facilitate people applying for the loan”.