KARACHI (July 27 2007): Despite 24 percent growth in the credit disbursement to the agriculture sector, the outstanding amount shows a slight decline of two percent, as still agri loans outstanding amounts to over Rs 147 billion at the ends of the 2007 fiscal.
Pakistan is an agricultural country, therefore, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is encouraging the agriculture loan disbursement to the farmers, aimed at promoting the agricultural sector.
Commercial and specialised banks have surpassed the target of credit disbursement to the agriculture sector in the 2006-07 fiscal year by showing a growth of 23 percent. As a result, the total disbursements of agri loan reached Rs 168.3 billion in the 2007 fiscal year as against Rs 137.5 billion disbursements during the 2006 fiscal.
Statistics made available to Business Recorder, which was prepared by the Agricultural Credit Department of central bank show that some amount of Rs 147.291 billion credit is due on the farmers as on June 30, 2007 as compared to Rs 150 billion as on June 2006.
`The statistics show that commercial and other agri loan providing banks have improved their recovery side and despite the record disbursement, overall outstanding amount has decline,` said a leading banker.
He said that despite the improvement in the recoveries, the outstanding amount was very healthy. As such the banks should adopt some line of action to further reduce the outstanding amount, he added.
Outstanding amount of the five leading commercial banks, including Allied Bank Limited (ABL), Habib Bank Limited (HBL), MCB Bank, National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) and United Bank Limited (UBL), Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) and 14 other domestic private banks` outstanding has also increased. The outstanding amount of Punjab Provincial Co-operative Bank Limited (PPCBL) shows decline during the last fiscal.
Five leading commercial banks` agri loans outstanding amount at the end of 2007 fiscal stood at Rs 53.659 billion, out of which ABL has Rs 784 million outstanding agri loan; HBL: Rs 19 billion; MCB Bank: Rs 4.43 billion; NBP: Rs 22.26 billion; and UBL: Rs 7.167 billion as against overall total of Rs 50 billion during 2006.
Unpaid loan of ZBTL stood at Rs 66.775 billion and PPCBL at Rs 8.775 billion, whereas the 14 other commercial banks have outstanding amount of Rs 18 billion at the end of the 2007 fiscal year. It may be mentioned here that for the current fiscal, the central bank has fixed a target of Rs 200 billion-credit disbursement to farmers.