Farm loan disbursement to exceed target: FM

New Delhi: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said loan disbursement to agriculture sector is likely to exceed the target of Rs 3.75 lakh crore in the current fiscal.

"Agriculture lending, particularly the short-term crop lending, is doing exceedingly well," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said at a function to mark 106 anniversary of Corporation Bank here.

"2010-11 (current fiscal), I fixed a target of Rs 3,75,000 crore and I am quite confident, because by December I have already reached Rs 3 lakh crore, it will be possible to exceed the target of Rs 3,75,000 crore," he said.

Citing past experience, Mukherjee said, "when we came to office in May, 2004, we decided we would like to double the short-term agricultural credit within 3 years. At that point of time the total quantum of short term credit was Rs 86,000 crore. We completed it in two years".

The short-term credit target for 2009-10 was Rs 3,25,000 crore, which exceeded to Rs 3,91,000 crore, he said.

For 2011-12, the government has fixed a target of Rs 4.75 lakh crore, he said, adding, "I do hope that my friends in the banking community would come of to expectation of the people and poor farmers of this nation."

In the Budget speech presented last month, Mukherjee had said "to get the best from their land, farmers need access to affordable credit. Banks have been consistently meeting the targets set for agriculture credit flow in the past few years.

"For the year 2011-12, I am raising the target of credit flow to the farmers from Rs 3,75,000 crore this year to Rs 4,75,000 crore. Banks have been asked to step up direct lending for agriculture and credit to small and marginal farmers," he had said.