The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has said that banks achieved over 97 per cent of agricultural credit disbursement target during the last fiscal year 2010-11 despite devastating floods which damaged vast agricultural infrastructure and caused huge losses to standing crops.
According to SBP data, agricultural credit disbursement by commercial and specialised banks stood at Rs263.02 billion during the last fiscal year, which ended on June 30, against the annual target of Rs270 billion.
The credit disbursement increased by Rs14.90 billion or 6.01 per cent, when compared with total disbursement of Rs248.12 billion in the previous fiscal year.
Five major commercial banks including Allied Bank, Habib Bank, MCB Bank, National Bank and United Bank together provided Rs140.31 billion to farmers compared with Rs119.61 billion in the previous year, depicting an increase of Rs20.70 billion or 17.31 per cent. These banks surpassed their target by Rs7.9 billion or 5.9 per cent as their annual target was Rs132.45 billion.
Thirteen domestic private banks also loaned a combined Rs50.19 billion compared with Rs43.78 billion in the preceding year, showing an increase of 14.64 per cent. These banks surpassed their annual target of Rs48.90 billion by Rs1.3 billion or 2.6 per cent.
Loans provided by Punjab Provincial Co-operative Bank Limited (PPCBL) stood at Rs7.16 billion, compared with Rs5.72 billion in 2009-10, registering an increase of 25.16 per cent. PPCBL lent Rs0.3 billion or 4.6 per cent more than its annual target of Rs6.85 billion.
However, Zarai Taraqiati Bank gave Rs65.36 billion in loans to farmers, down by 17.28 per cent compared with Rs79.01 billion in 2009-10. It achieved 80 per cent of the target of Rs81.80 billion.
Province-wise data shows that agricultural credit disbursement to Punjab increased by Rs10.9 billion, Sindh by Rs3.8 billion, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa by Rs0.5 billion and Azad Jammu and Kashmir by Rs0.1 billion compared with the previous year. However, credit to farmers in Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan declined by Rs0.3 billion and Rs0.1 billion respectively.
The disbursement to non-farm sector - livestock, poultry, fisheries, etc – increased by Rs7.9 billion or 10.3 per cent and to farm sector by Rs7 billion or 4.1 per cent.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2011.