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Banks disburse Rs301bn among farmers in six months

Banks have extended Rs 301.7 billion loans to farmers across the country in first half of on-going fiscal year as bankers move on to achieve the target of Rs 700 billion disbursement among the farming community for the year 2016-17 with microfinance banks leading the rest.

Officials from different banks, including the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), told APP that five commercial banks, including Allied Bank (ABL), Habib Bank (HBL), Muslim Commercial Bank (MCB), NBP and United Bank, were given the target of disbursing Rs 340 billion as loan among farmers in the fiscal year 2016-17. So far, these banks have extended Rs 156.4 billion worth of loans meeting 46 per cent of the target.

The Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) and Punjab Provincial Cooperative Bank achieved 30 per cent of their loan disbursement target by extending Rs 34.1 billion worth of loans against a target of Rs 115 billion.

Fifteen domestic private banks disbursed Rs 57.3 billion against the target of Rs 139.6 billion achieving it by 41 per cent. These banks included Askari Bank, Bank Al-Habib, Bank Al-Falah, Summit Bank, Faisal Bank, Habib Metropolitan Bank, JS Bank, NIB Bank, the First Women Bank, Sindh Bank, Silk Bank, Soneri Bank, The Bank of Khyber, The Bank of Punjab, and Standard Chartered Bank.

Rs 11 billion target was given to Islamic banks, including Bank Islami Pakistan, Meezan Bank, Al-Baraka Bank, and Dubai Islami Bank, and these have achieved 42 per cent of the target by disbursing Rs 4.5 billion among farmers.

Ten big microfinance banks were given the target of Rs 60.1 billion and their disbursement in the first six months of fiscal year 2016-17 stood at record Rs 42.2 billion meeting the target by 84 per cent. These microfinance banks included Khushhali Bank, NRSP microfinance bank, the first microfinance bank, Pak-Oman microfinance bank, Tameer microfinance bank, Mobilink microfinance bank, U microfinance Bank, FINCA microfinance bank, Apna microfinance bank and Sindh microfinance bank.

Sixteen microfinance institutions were given Rs 34.3 billion target and they achieved it 21 per cent by disbursing Rs 7.2 billion among farmers.

These microfinance institutions included National Rural Support Programme (NRSP), Thar Deep Microfinance Fund, SAFCO Support Foundation, Punjab Rural Support Programme (PRSP), Kashf Foundation, Akhuwwat, Sindh Rural Support Organization (SRSO), Damen Support Programme, National Rural Development Programme, Agahi, BRAC Pakistan, Son Valley Development Programme, Villagers Development Organization, Farmers Friends Organization, Support with Working Solutions and Al-Mehran Rural Development Organization.

State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) officials said, the government has further simplified the procedure of agriculture and livestock insurance premiums and claims while seminars were being held regularly on agriculture credit. Meetings of agriculture credit advisory committee were also being held regularly to ensure that farmers could get loans at their doorsteps.

According to SBP officials, banks had disbursed Rs 336 billion among farmers against a demand of Rs 750 billion in 2012-13, Rs 391 billion in 2013-14 against demand of Rs 790 billion, Rs 516 billion in 2014-15 against demand of Rs 946 billion, and Rs 598 billion in 2015-16 against demand of Rs 1060 billion.

Imaduddin. Banks disburse Rs301bn among farmers in six months. Business Recorder, March 1, 2017.

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