KARACHI - The State Bank of Pakistan has advised commercial banks to stop recovery of all agricultural loans along with its mark-up from affected small farmers of Malakand Division of North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) immediately for smooth and timely implementation of the relief package of write-offs/remission of agricultural loans amounting to Rs2.56 billion announced by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani recently. According to a circular (ACD Circular No. 2) issued on Wednesday, the banks have been advised to make all out efforts to publicize the scheme through advertisement in print & electronic media, banners and direct contact with borrowers. It said the banks claims for write off/remission of small farmers loans under the scheme shall be submitted to Agricultural Credit Department, SBP on the prescribed format up to 15th December, 2009 for Swat, Buner and Bajaur and up to 25th December, 2009, for other districts/agencies for reimbursement. The amount reimbursed by SBP shall be subject to on-site inspection and if any amount claimed found ineligible, the same shall be required to be refunded by the bank along with penalty, it added. The circular said the reimbursement of banks claims of outstanding agri loans shall be full and final settlement of the borrowers liabilities. Banks are required to release all securities/charges held against such loans and issue necessary clearance certificates to borrower soon after the receipt of funds from SBP. It may be mentioned here that the PM recently announced a relief package for remission/ write-off of small farmers agriculture loans (farm & non-farm). Under the package, all agri loans of small farmers having outstanding balances as on 30-6-2009 of the districts of Malakand Division viz. Swat, Buner, Shangla, Lower Dir, Upper Dir, Malakand & Chitral and FATA (Bajaur Agency, Kurram Agency and Khyber Agency) shall be written off/waived and the cost thereof shall be borne by the Federal Government. The criteria of small farmers will be the farmers having subsistence land holding i.e. up to: 12.5 acres and in case of non-farm sector i.e. for livestock: 20-50 cows/buffalos & up to 150 goats/sheep; poultry: up to 5,000 birds/broilers and 1,000 birds for layers; fisheries: one boat for marine and up to 2 acres pound for inland fisheries.