After failure of crops of cotton, maize and rice that affected the GDP growth for the current financial year, Federal Minister for Finance Senator Ishaq Dar chaired a meeting on Wednesday to review the provision of agriculture credit, particularly by public sector banks to the farmers to increase agriculture production. The secretary finance, deputy governor State Bank of Pakistan, CEOs of National Bank of Pakistan and Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited and senior officials of the ministry of finance attended the meeting.
In the meeting, issues pertaining to the agriculture sector, particularly losses incurred by the agriculturists in respect of cotton and rice crops were discussed. It was also pointed out that the mark-up rates charged on agriculture credit by the banks need to be reviewed. In view thereof, the finance minister urged upon the public sector financial institutions like NBP and ZTBL to review the mark-up rates for agriculture credit, particularly in view of the reduction in overall policy rate recently announced by the State Bank of Pakistan.
The heads of the banks assured that they would immediately finalise specific measures for increasing availability of agricultural credit and rationalise mark-up rates which will enhance agricultural growth in the country.