State Bank sets limits for sale of foreign exchange to individuals

MULTAN: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has set a credit disbursement target for the agriculture sector at Rs1.7 trillion for the current fiscal year 2021-22, which is 21 percent higher than the previous financial year.
According to a statement issued on Monday, SBP Governor Dr Raza Baqir announced this while addressing the annual meeting of Agriculture Credit Advisory Committee.
He lauded the performance of banks in achieving the unprecedented level of agriculture credit disbursement in FY21. He appreciated the fact that despite Covid-19 pandemic challenges, collective efforts of 50 financial institutions under ACAC guidance helped achieve 91 percent of the assigned target.
He emphasised that banks leadership can now take this journey to the next level of qualitative improvement in agriculture credit in line with the strategic shift and key policy actions taken by SBP.
Announcing current year’s agriculture credit target of Rs1.7 trillion with 5 million borrowers, the governor marked the insistent need to address quality of credit, its geographical imbalances and uneven distribution amongst different categories of borrowers.
On the occasion, the SBP Governor announced two new measures to help boost agriculture financing. First, a comprehensive scoring model to rank banks according to key agriculture credit indicators and targets. To foster a competitive environment, the banks performing well will duly be recognized whereas under performing banks will be strongly encouraged to focus on metrics where improvement is needed. The second measure designates a bank volunteering to serve as a champion/lead bank in an underserved province/area.
Further steps in this regard include establishing help desks in under served areas to facilitate farmers, and launching targeted and collaborative awareness drives for an extensive outreach. He concluded that SBP’s vision will serve two-fold purposes; enhancing farmers financial inclusion while providing more lending opportunities to the banks.
Upon convening ACAC meeting in Multan, the governor especially highlighted the immense agricultural potential of the area and the opportunities in expanding agriculture finance. This was followed by a presentation on the performance of banks in agricultural financing.
Baqir said that various banks have approved loans worth Rs100 billion for the government housing schemes like “Mera Pakistan and Mera Ghar”. He said that loans of Rs38 billion have been disbursed in this regard. – TLTP