LAHORE, Jan 6,2014 (Sumeera Riaz / UPI Next) — Pakistan’s new loan program to encourage young entrepreneurs to start small businesses has been greeted with mixed reactions.
Under the program, announced Dec. 7 by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Pakistanis ages 21 to 45 are eligible for loans totaling $950 million, with half the money reserved for women. Applicants must be Pakistani, possess a national identity card and have a guarantor.
The program is to give out 100,000 loans ranging from about $5,000 to $19,000. Borrowers will pay 8 percent interest, whereas the lending institutions will charge about 15 percent. The government will pay the difference.