Farm loans disbursal surged by 57 per cent till August this fiscal to 1.13 lakh crore as the government strove to mitigate the impact of drought on farmers through timely supply of credit.

“Farm credit worth Rs 1,13,569 crore has been extended in the first five months of this fiscal against Rs 72,236 crore in the corresponding period last year,” a senior government official said.

The government will “definitely meet” the target of extending Rs 3.25 lakh in farm credit this fiscal, he added.

While presenting the Budget 2009-10, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had announced farm loans at a subsidised interest rate of six per cent for those who pay their dues in time and raised the agriculture sector credit target by 16 per cent to Rs 3,25,000 crore this fiscal.

At present, farm loans are extended at an interest rate of seven per cent per annum.

Mukherjee had said the Rs 71,000 crore debt waiver scheme, announced during the Budget 2008-09, would be extended by six months till December 31 this year in view of the delay in monsoon.

Institutional credit to the agriculture sector touched Rs 2,87,150 crore last year, exceeding the target of Rs 2,80,000 crore.

According to the provisional figures, commercial banks disbursed Rs 2,23,663 crore, which is 77.9 per cent of the total farm credit last year.

Among the commercial banks, public sector banks disbursed Rs 1,64,350 crore (57.2 per cent) whereas private banks lent Rs 59,313 crore (20.7 per cent) to the agriculture sector.

Cooperative banks gave credit worth Rs 36,762 crore (12.8 per cent) and RRBs Rs 26,724 crore (9.3 per cent) in 2008-09.

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