President, Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), Mian Zahid Hussain has said that the efforts by the incumbent government to spur growth in agricultural sector to achieve Millennium Development Goal are not sufficient.
He said that although the scheme of credit guarantee for Small and Marginalised Farmers (CGSMF) announced by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) was a good step in right direction, which is need of the time but the relief was insufficient which could lead to the failure of the whole scheme.
He said that in a long period of nine years, from 9.03 percent in June-06 to 10.13 percent in Oct-15, there is a meagre increase of mere 1.1 percent in lending of credit to agricultural sector. He said that risk coverage of 50 percent by recent Credit Guarantee Scheme against financing exposure needs to be increased to 75 percent and limit of the loan amount to Rs 500, 000 from existing amount of Rs 100, 000, he added.
He hoped that suggested measures in CGSMF Scheme will promote phenomenal growth in agricultural sector and informal lenders will be sidelined. PBIF Chief while expressing his concern said that last year Pakistan had bumper crop of cotton, which not only sufficed need of our textile sector but also earned foreign exchange for the country but negligence on the part of relevant authorities and not taking timely measures have brought down cotton production to 637 kilogram per hectare from record production of 812 kilogram per hectare.
He said that this year Pakistan would have to rely on imported cotton to satiate export orders and this cash commodity have been converted into burden on Balance of Payment instead of earning for the country.
Source: Business Recorder