New Delhi: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday 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.

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

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

"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.

He added there are about 600,000 villages in India, while only 32,919 rural bank branches.

To address this need, he said, "I had in 2010-11 directed all banks to provide appropriate banking facilities to habitations having population in excess of 2,000 by March, 2012, using various models and technologies including branchless banking, through Business Correspondents (BCs)."


(Agencies)