LAHORE (APP) - National Bank of Pakistan is providing short-term financing facilities to farming community, as the bank having largest network in rural areas, is focusing capitalization of market share of agriculture sector in Pakistan. Talking to APP here Tuesday, the NBP President Syed Ali Raza said that NBP has expanded credit to the farmers as record high of around Rs 200 billion from previous agri financing of Rs 100 to 120 billion over the last five years. The bank is also preparing a new financial products for the countrys growers, besides extending re-financing facility to them. He said the impelementation of the WTO rules, Pakistan is facing serious challenges in the agriculture sector since the western world is still heavily subsidizing this vital sector. The President appealed to countrys policy makers to strive hard to ensure lining of watercourses so as to save around 40 percent of the countrys irrigation water wasted every year. This initiative, he added, would help enhance the countrys GDP growth rate with increased agri production. Syed Ali Raza, who served as President and VP of the American Business Council of Pakistan and as member of the Management Committee of the Overseas Chamber of Commerce and Industry, claimed that in the coming years, the share of corporate financing would shrink since this sector would be satisfying its capital needs through the capital markets. The cost of raising funds through the capital markets is much lower than that from the banking sector, he cited. Raza cited mutual funds as the main threat to the deposit base of commercial banks since people would prefer investing in them, adding that ever increasing business of mutual funds would force commercial banks to raise their present rate of profit. He predicted the rise in demand for credit would push the interest rates upwards again. He said that he was striving to bring in corporate culture for which, a comprehensive strategy is being put in place to improve bank branches internal environment and human resource quality. To another question, he said, the bank has registered a remarkable improvement in performance over the last few years, he said, citing, its a good omen that mindset of the State Bank of Pakistan inspectors has also changed from interrogation to discussion.