In an attempt to provide financing opportunities through banks to the low-income segments of society, the government has launched an ambitious Rs4.1 trillion Kamyab Pakistan Program. Its parameters say it will go a long way in empowering the downtrodden and link them with the mainstream economy. The middle and the poor classes have been especially targeted, and it is hoped more than 3.7 million families will benefit from the scheme. While inaugurating the program, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that unless the lot of the common man is alleviated, nothing will change for good.

The program has five components and primarily caters to farmers and small-scale businesses, apart from funding schemes for constructing homes, and in the health sectors. A scholarship scheme is also there for skilled people. It is an innovative idea wherein microfinance institutions will be involved, and financing of projects and loans will be streamlined for capital up to half a million rupees. The same is repayable on lenient terms, and is intended to roll the wheel of the economy on self-initiated businesses for the poor. In current history, it shares its parallels with the New Deal of US President Franklin D Roosevelt, as well as the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, which set in revolutionary changes in the social milieu of the masses.

Irrespective of its lucrative incentives and largesse of the government, all it needs is stringent and transparent implementation. The country has seen many such financing schemes in the past, but they all ended up piling enormous losses to the national exchequer, as they were camouflaged by deceit and inconsistency. This KPP should be monitored very closely, and this is how the PM’s objective of changing the mindset and priorities in Pakistan through a module of development from bottom to up can be achieved. The PM aptly acknowledged that the strategy of development is flawed, and a welfare state cannot be realised by depending on the wealth of the elite. His acumen to loan the lower strata is worth appreciating.

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