Sustainable Economic Empowerment Program (SEEP)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Zakat and Ushr Department provides financial assistance to the poor and the needy under various welfare programs which include, inter alia, skill development of the poor and under privileged youth through Punjab Vocational Training Council. Annually 30,000 young boys and girls hailing from deserving families are imparted technical and vocational training in demand driven areas at Vocational Training Institutes established by PVTC. Annual allocations by Zakat Department for skill development cluster around Rs. one billion.As of 2015, the Department has launched Sustainable Economic Empowerment Program under the name of ‘Khadim e Aala Rozgar Scheme’ as a pilot project in six districts i.e. Attock, Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Lahore, Sahiwal and Sheikhupura. Under the scheme, pass outs of VTIs can get financial grants from Zakat fund up to Rs. 200,000. The initiative means to help the trained youth start their own independent small business and earn their livelihoods in a respectable manner. The initiative is likely to help the government of Punjab reduce unemployment and give impetus to growth as envisaged under its Punjab Growth Strategy 2018.Under the SEEP 1st phase, 205 pass outs of VTIs have been approved for financial grants. It is intended that the scheme is launched by handing over grant cheques to some beneficiaries in a ceremony to be attended by political leadership, public representatives, academia, government officials, members of civil society and media. This will boost the morale of the beneficiaries. Political leadership, media and the general public will take a positive message that Zakat Department and PVTC under the auspices of the Punjab Government are doing good with zakat funds for the welfare of the poor. It will help build trust in the state-run Zakat system.