The local government of Punjab, Pakistan, reportedly has provided interest-free loans of approximately PKR 600 million (USD 6.54 million) since November 2011 to 30,000 unemployed people to start their own businesses. The Punjabi government is expected to allocate an additional PKR 1 billion (USD 10.9 million) for the self-employment program in the next fiscal year. The local government has partnered with Akhuwat, a microfinance institution (MFI) based in Pakistan, to disburse the loans. Akhuwat is also running education programs and programs specifically for disabled people in the region. The loans range from PKR 10,000 (USD 109) to INR 50,000 (USD 545). Most borrowers are vendors.
For the year 2011, Akhuwat reported to the US-based nonprofit Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) a gross loan portfolio of USD 2.8 million with approximately 31,500 active borrowers.
By Brendan Millan, Research Associate
About Akhuwat: Established in 2001, Akhuwat is a microfinance institution (MFI) based in Pakistan. For the year 2011, Akhuwat reported to the US-based nonprofit Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) a gross loan portfolio of USD 2.8 million with approximately 31,500 active borrowers.
Sources and Resources:
 The Nation: “Rs 600m Interest-free Loans Disbursed in Punjab”, http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/business/20-May-2012/rs-600m-interest-free-loans-disbursed-in-punjab
MicroCapital.org story, April 9, 2012, “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, Allocates $66m to Microfinance, Primarily for Youth, Artisans”, http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-government-of-khyber-pakhtunkhwa-pakistan-allocates-66m-to-microfinance-primarily-for-youth-artisans/
MicroCapital.org story, February 28, 2012, “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: State Bank of Pakistan Aims to Disburse $134m via Microfinance Banks to Agricultural Sector in 2012,” http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-state-bank-of-pakistan-aims-to-disburse-134m-via-microfinance-banks-to-agricultural-sector-in-2012/
MicroCapital.org story, January 2, 2012, “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: State Bank of Pakistan Releases Five-Year ‘Microfinance Strategic Framework,’ Launches Financial Literacy Programme”, http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-state-bank-of-pakistan-re…
MicroCapital.org story, October 3, 2011, “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Reduces Provision Requirements for Microfinance Loans”, http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-state-bank-of-pakistan-sb…
MicroCapital.org story, March 11, 2012, “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Scaling Up Nationwide Financial Literacy Program (NFLP),” http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-state-bank-of-pakistan-sbp-scaling-up-nationwide-financial-literacy-program-nflp/
MicroCapital.org story, November 11, 2008, “MICROCAPITAL STORY: Pakistan’s Akhuwat and Muslim Aid Collaborate to Disburse US$ 4,316 In Microloans”, http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-story-pakistans-akhuwat-and-muslim-aid-collaborate-to-disburse-us-4316-in-microloans/
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Akhuwat, http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Akhuwat
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