ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has urged the public sector’s financial institutions to review their mark-up rates for agriculture credit, in a bid to increase availability of loans and reduce their cost.
While chairing a meeting, which reviewed the provisions of agriculture credit particularly by public sector banks to farmers, Dar said that institutions like National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) and Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) should take the step keeping in view the reduction in overall policy rate recently announced by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). The SBP cut the rate by a quarter of a percentage point in its monetary policy statement on Saturday.
It was pointed out that mark-up rate charged on agriculture credit by the banks needed to be reviewed.
The heads of the banks assured that they would immediately finalise specific measures for increasing availability of agricultural credit and rationalise mark-up rates, which would enhance agricultural growth in the country.
The meeting also discussed issues pertaining to agriculture sector, particularly losses incurred by the farmers in respect of cotton and rice crops.
The meeting was attended by secretary finance, deputy governor SBP, CEOs of NBP and ZTBL along with other senior officials.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 26th, 2016.
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