KARACHI: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Saturday said that an amount of Rs1,250 billion has been fixed as target of agriculture loan disbursement during fiscal year 2018/2019.
The overall disbursement target of Rs1,250 billion has been assigned to banks which is 82 percent of the total estimated agriculture credit requirement of Rs1,519 billion.
The province wise and sector wise distribution of the target was adopted while considering the provincial agricultural credit requirements, banks’ overall lending capacity and their business expansion plans.
It was highlighted that for the first time, Islamic banks and Islamic branches of commercial banks have been assigned disbursement target of Rs100 billion to help realize its potential. Further, the overall target of outstanding borrowers has been enhanced to 4.42 million with the addition of 700,000 new borrowers.
SBP Governor Tariq Bajwa urged banks to bring qualitative shift in agricultural financing by adopting innovative techniques for provision of easy and swift credit to small farmers.
While chairing the Agricultural Credit Advisory Committee (ACAC) he shared that agricultural credit is one of the top priorities of government. The annual meeting of the ACAC was held for the first time in Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu & Kashmir as part of the SBP’s continued efforts to enhance agriculture credit in underserved provinces and regions.
While reviewing the progress on agriculture credit targets of FY 2017-18, Bajwa, appreciated the efforts of commercial banks, microfinance banks and microfinance institutions for nearly achieving the agri. targets.
The banks disbursed Rs 972.6 billion, which was over 97 percent of the assigned target and 38 percent higher than FY 2016-17. In terms of agri. credit demand, banks met 72 percent of the total agri credit requirement compared to 57 percent last year.