April 03, 2017
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said banks are damaging the most important sector of the economy.
Banks are indirectly forcing millions of growers to get financial support from loans sharks on high interest rates which keep the farming communities and agriculture sector from development, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that banks should be forced to observe justified distribution of loans otherwise the agriculture and its sub-sectors will continue to go down by the passage of time.
He said that loans worth Rs336.3 billion were distributed in 2013 that jumped to Rs598 billion in 2016 and the target of 2017 is Rs700 billion in which 302 billion rupees have been distributed.
These figures looks promising but the situation of the ground is different as this critical sector is sliding with a fast pace, he said.
He said that out of all the loans, Punjab gets almost ninety percent of the share which rest of the three provinces, Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan get around 10 percent of the loans which is unjustified.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that Balochistan suffers a lot that get half a billion rupees in agricultural loans despite the target of over seven billion rupees.
He said that banks should be given district wise loan disbursement target and that the agricultural output of Balochistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan and Kashmir is not just ten percent of the nation output therefore disbursement of loans should be balanced.
By depriving millions of farmers outside Punjab banks are putting famers on the mercy of loans sharks who get 35 to 50 percent interest in loans hitting borrowers and agriculture, he observed.