ztbl_optSTAFF REPORT LHR: Disbursement of agricultural credit by banks increased 12 per cent to Rs140.32 billion in the first half (July-December) of the current fiscal year compared to the corresponding period of previous year.

According to figures released by the State Bank of Pakistan, in July-December 2011, farmers had borrowed Rs125.21 billion from the banks.

Of the total lending to farmers, five major commercial banks – Allied Bank, Habib Bank, MCB Bank, National Bank and United Bank – enjoyed a dominating share at Rs76.04 billion in July-December 2012, up 7.76 per cent compared to Rs70.56 billion lent in the same period of 2011.

The data shows that Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL), the largest specialised bank, provided loans of Rs19.28 billion to the farmers, down 8.39 per cent from a year ago. While the Punjab Provincial Co-operative Bank Limited (PPCBL) disbursed Rs3.59 billion, down 7.02% compared with Rs3.87 billion disbursed in the same period of previous year.

Fourteen domestic private banks also offered loans worth Rs33.16 billion in July-December 2012, an increase of 36.84% from Rs24.23 billion last year.

The State Bank has set for banks an indicative agricultural credit disbursement target of Rs315 billion for the current financial year ending June 2013.

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