Chairman of the United International Group Mian Shahid on Sunday lauded the Government and the State Bank of Pakistan for record agricultural financing this year which will benefit the most important sector of the national economy. He said the share of agriculture in the GDP is 22 percent therefore bank loans for the sector must be 22 percent of all the advances for which all the stakeholders must take steps.
Mian Shahid said that loans given to agricultural sector by commercial banks witnessed growth of 32 percent in 2015 as compared to the last year. The banks lent 391.4 billion rupees to planters in 2014 while Rs 515.9 billion loans were issued in 2015. Agriculture loans were nine percent of total loans by banks in 2014 while the same stood at 11 percent of tin 2015 which is good but not according to the demand of the critical sector.
This indicates will of the government to improve the agriculture sector, effort of the banks to step in rural economy and demand by the farmers for financing. He noted that agricultural loans are growing by 10.8 percent for last three years due to the efforts by the central bank and demanded that double digit growth must be ensured in future.
Mian Shahid said that 15 commercial banks showed good results, seven small banks could not fulfil the target of agri loans while four Islamic Banks disbursed five billion rupees against target of 2.3 billion in fiscal year of 2015.