LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The Akuwat, in collaboration with Punjab Small Industries Corporation (PSIC) under Chief Minister Punjab Self-employment Scheme, has distributed cheques of loans ranging from Rs 100,000 to 200,000 among 52 men and women during a ceremony held at Masjid Hazrat Baba Shah Jamal here on Saturday.

Provincial Minister for Trade, Industry and Investment Ch. Muhammad Shafiq was the chief guest who gave away cheques to the deserving persons. Chairman and founder of Akuwat Dr Muhammad Amjad Saqib, Director Punjab Small Industries Bilal Ahmad Butt, Ali Raza, Ghulam Nabi and other officers were present on the occasion.

Chairman Akuwat Dr Amjad Saqib said that more than 272 centers had been set up throughout the province and interest-free loans of more than Rs 13 billion have been provided to 692,000 families in 168 cities. He said that these loans were distributed in local mosques without any religious, sectarian or political consideration.

The minister said that distribution of interest-free loans have been started under Self-Employment Scheme of Chief Minister Punjab for eliminating unemployment, earning halal livelihood and promoting business through hard work and honesty which was highly appreciated.

He said that these loans were given without any reference, recommendation and political pressure while hundred percent re-payment of these loans has been ensured. Ch. Shafiq said that due to success of this scheme, Chief Minister Punjab had allocated more Rs 2 billion during current financial year.

Ch. Muhammad Shafiq said that provision of interest-free loans to the people in such a large number will help alleviate poverty and unemployment, and the society will become prosperous.