Gilgit - Baltistan

Approved: Microfinance scheme for the youth of Gilgit-Baltistan


Islamabad, April 11: The Gilgit-Baltistan government plans to start a Microfinance scheme, specifically for the unemployed youth of Gilgit-Baltistan, to help them gain economic independence and contribute towards the region’s economic growth.

The Microfinance scheme, to be implemented through a 250 million rupees revolving fund, aims to provide loans of up to 75,000 rupees to the youth of Gilgit-Baltistan. This money, it is expected, will provide the much-needed stimulus for entrepreneurship.

The Chief Secretary of Gilgit-Baltistan, Sajjad Saleem Hottiana, said on his Facebook page that he and the Chief Minister have “inked the scheme together”.

The scheme was approved today by the Chief Minister at his office and it will come into effect in May.

Unemployment is one of the major issues of Gilgit-Baltistan. Very large number of students graduate from Karakoram International University and other varsities of the country but the region lacks the industries and other opportunities to help them earn money with dignity.

It is because of lack of opportunities that a very large number of the youth live in almost all cities and towns of the country, away from their region and, thus, unable to contribute directly to the region’s economy.

The emphasis on enterpreneaurship, coupled with economic reforms and industrialization of the region can help integrate the youth in the regional mainstream, making them the agents of growth and development.

The loan scheme is being implemented with the help of a Lahore based NGO called Akhuwat Foundation, which has worked in different parts of the country since 2001 on similar projects.

Similar schemes have failed in other parts of the country but the Chief Secretary seems determined to make it successful. “GB will be Inshallah a model for the world”, he said on his Facebook page, adding that those who take the loans should also return them to help others avail the facility.

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  1. The need to access micro finance by the youth is there and the initiative is great. The key preconditions for the success will be to hire right core staff and inculcate a process which should ensure transparency. I understand Akhuwat Foundation knows that.

  2. 75,000 rupees with inflation rate of 6.57 percent (as of March, 2013)? plus I wonder if any survey has been undertaken to match the necessary skill sets of our G.B youth? I think our government should focus on modern entrepreneurship to create jobs through emphasis on economic reforms, public services and infrastructure. I shall be thankful if you can clearly site any empirical data on the ‘INDUSTRIALIZATION’ initiatives in G.B as sited in the article.

    1. The sentence about industrialization is a suggestion. A lot needs to be done to capitalize on the industrial potential of the region’s resources.

      1. sorry its ‘cited’ not ‘sited’ and yes, Its time to see some real results. Microcredit is not a solution in our context, we already have a very competitive market to produce more entrepreneurs. we do have low entry barriers but with low skills, little capital and low, rather no scale economies!! I wonder if will work. empirical evidence (Aneel Karnani, 2009) shows it leads to low productivity and meager earnings. we need to think if it will help us as youth specially without building on the necessary skill sets and creating other employment opportunities through public services but i hope it works.

  3. In the microfinance sector, performance of women has outperformed that of men, factors being the minimum leakages, higher levels of commitment, intensive use of labour, better record keeping, name a few. This 75k amount without imaprting demand oriented skills to males may not bring expected outcomes. Hope, selection of AF is based on a merit-based implementation plan.

  4. may God bless u sir. it is really appreciable I m doing a research on micro-finance “the role of micro-finance to initiate new businesses”. it is fabulous action taken by CS. more than 50% of youth is unemployed so, this deed is really helpful for graduates to get their own source of income

  5. Again making joke of not the ordinary people but the the highly educated youth of Gilgit-Baltistan. We had made the army, former Chief Secretary and Chief Minister sit together with the team of Gilgit-Baltistan Graduates Association at Chief Minister House in 2011. In that meeting we had demanded of the government to provide unemployment allounce of at least Rs. 12000 to unemployed graduates, because, the few jobs are created for highly educated people, the jobs created in thousands are of low grades.

    The deputation system and Federal kota in jobs also deprives and renders the highly educated people in GB unemployed. Although our this demand was not accepted but we were asked suggest some other alternative to accommodate the highly educated youth. We demanded of the govt to provide interest free loan to unemployed graduates, which was welcome and appreciated.

    It was unanimously decided in the meeting that in first place 15 crore rupees will be allocated for loan scheme in the budget of 2012-13 and with each passing year the amount would be increased.It was decided that minimum 500,000 and maximum 10,00,000 Rupees will be given to unemployed graduates.

    The Micro Finance formula regarding loan disbursement was taken into consideration and discussed in detail.It was declared not workable as it will not yield any result.

    What present Chief Secretary is doing is on arbitrary basis without any consultation with youth. He should first have consultation with and take suggestions from different groups of the graduates, the main stakeholder, and then develop a mechanism for loan disbursement.

    This seems to be again a bureaucratic decision, may be with best wishes but negating the very aim and vision with which the loan scheme was announced.The basic aim of the loan scheme was to compensate the highly educated unemployed youth.

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