Credit disbursement by banks to agriculture sector was higher than last year in the first seven months of the current fiscal year, but still not up to the target set by the State Bank for the entire year. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said on Thursday that agricultural credit disbursement by banks surged by 20 per cent year-on-year basis to $1.66 billion in the first seven months (July-January) of the current fiscal year (2011-12). In absolute terms, disbursement of credit to the agriculture sector increased by over $275.24 million in the seven months as compared with total disbursement of $1.39 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal year. However, as per full target the total disbursements in the seven months, it should be around $1.84 billion with an average of $263.89 million per month. The State Bank has set an indicative agricultural credit disbursement target of $3.17 million for the current fiscal year. Overall credit disbursement by five major commercial banks, including Allied Bank Limited, Habib Bank Limited, MCB Bank Limited, National Bank of Pakistan and United Bank Limited stood at $916.24 million in seven months compared with $760.9 million disbursements during the same period of the previous year. Zarai Taraqiati Bank, the largest specialised bank, disbursed a total of $292.9 million in July-January, 2012, down by 0.03 per cent when compared with $292.99 million disbursement in the same period of the last fiscal year. Punjab Provincial Co-operative Bank Limited disbursed $55.33 million in July-January 2012, up by 28.49 per cent when compared with $43.06 million disbursement in the same period of the last fiscal year. Fourteen domestic private banks also loaned a combined amount of $322.178 million in this span of time, up by 10.84 per cent compared with $290.67 million disbursement during the last fiscal year. Five Microfinance banks, including Khushhali Bank, NRSP Microfinance Bank., The First Microfinance Bank, Pak-Oman Microfinance Bank and Tameer Microfinance Bank disbursed a total of $76.2 million in July-January, 2012 period.