Punjab Govt Plans to Promote Islamic Micro-Financing

Punjab Finance Minister, Makhdoom Jawan Bakhat Hashim, was speaking at the third Islamic Micro Finance Conference organized by Akhuwat Foundation where he confirmed that the government will be focusing on Islamic micro-financing.

He also said that subsidy for traveling on metro buses will continue but unaccounted subsidy will be checked as the government will not allow anyone to misuse public tax money.

While reviewing a meeting of metro bus services on Tuesday, he directed the Punjab Mass Transit Authority (PMA) to come up with options of rationalization of buses, advertisements and other commercial activities at metro bus stations.

He asked the PMA to prepare a financial structure of the authority along with existing operational structure, as the government doesn’t want to put an extra burden of subsidy on it nor does it want to shift it to the public.

Additional Secretary Finance Ubaid-ur-Rehman briefed the meeting the Punjab government was subsidizing the metro buses and other projects in the transport sector including Lahore Transport Company (LTC). The government allocated Rs 12.9 billion for PMA for subsidies.

The government was subsidizing Lahore and Multan metro routes by 70 percent and feeder routes by 90 percent. He said that an increase in fare and exploiting the new potential for revenue generation stream from the transport sector, especially for PMA, was unavoidable.

He further said that the PTI was committed to bringing change to the lowest level of the society and this could be achieved through micro-financing.

Punjab’s finance minister further said that both federal and provincial governments were promoting Islamic micro financing for poverty eradication and economic stability. He said that the Punjab government started interest-free loans for the agriculture sector in collaboration with Akhuwat Foundation while a number of areas still need work where the potential of micro-financing exists.

The Punjab government will welcome the Islamic microfinance network for the poverty eradication program.

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