ISLAMABAD:   Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) is the only specialized financial institution for agriculture sector of Pakistan. The bank plays its designated role is harnessing envisaged agriculture sector growth and development by catering credit requirements of agriculture sector. ZTBL alone is serving approximately

0.350 million farm families annually.

The bank is constantly maintaining its AAA/A-1+ rating which is a proof enough of the bank’s active positive growth and maintenance of its financial position. Sheikh Aman Ullah, Acting President ZTBL, has brought in a number of innovations in the bank workings during his short tenure of eight months. Bank took different steps as per the federal government policy on National Financial Inclusion Strategy. ZTBL’s model of business payments has been changed after 57 years in January 2019 and it has been digitalized and ZTBL has installed 40 ATMs during Jan-May 2019.

Similarly, the bank’s business model has been changed and ZTBL has commenced Islamic Banking Operations in December 2018 after getting License from State Bank of Pakistan.In addition, the bank is facilitating farming

community through Agri. E. Credit Scheme, which is unique in nature in terms of cost free registration at Sahulat Centers that are established by the Punjab government.

Under the scheme ZTBL has given loans amounting to Rs.11 billion to 91,000 small borrowers where mark up on loans in respect of regular borrowers is reimbursed to ZTBL by the Punjab government.The loans are interest free for borrowers. It has created self-employment opportunities for 91,000 small farmers. In the light of federal government policies on agriculture, rural development (poverty reduction) Scheme of ZTBL with joint venture with AJK government has became operational in March 2019. Under this scheme, ZTBL will finance 300 small dairy units at AJK with the maximum lending limit of Rs.1 million.Loan duration will be for five years. AJK Government will bear cost of mark-up of these loans provided borrowers repay loans on due dates.

Consequent upon default, mark-up will also be borne by the borrowers themselves.The areas of Agri Credit of ZTBL are expanding and Joint venture schemes on similar lines for agricultural credit are under process with rest of provincial governments i.e., KPK, Balochistan, Sindh and Gilgit/Balitstan.ZTBL is also proceeding towards diversification of loan portfolio and is going to introduce new value added products/schemes of financing like Milk Chilling Units, Small Oil Expeller Units for Canola, Soyabean, Sunflower, Mustard & Olive Oil, three Wheeler Loader Rickshaw, Floriculture including Green House, Tunnel Farming,Silo, Silage making/Fruit Processing.