PESHAWAR (APP) - State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has launched two schemes of Agricultural Loans Refinancing & Guarantee Scheme and remission/write off of both farm and non-farm agricultural loans of small farmers for the revival of economic activities in the war affected areas of NWFP and FATA. This was stated by Chief Manager, SBP, Banking Services Corporation, Peshawar, Tasleem Qazi while addressing a press conference here Monday. He said the central bank has also one-widow operation for agriculture loaning Pilot Project Phase-II in three districts of NWFP and exchange / repayment of charred currency notes resulting from bomb blasts. The chief manager was flanked by representatives of eight commercial banks included Allied Bank Limited, Habib Bank Limited, MCB Bank Limited, National Bank Limited, United Bank Limited, Askari Bank Limited, Bank of Khyber and Arif Habib Bank. Under Agricultural Loans Refinancing & Guarantee Scheme, the farmers of war-affected areas of NWFP and FATA would be facilitated in obtaining loans from banks to resume agricultural activities. Banks have been allowed to obtain refinance facility from SBP against agri loans extended by them. He said banks would provide working capital loans to the farmers of Swat, Lower Dir, Upper Dir, Malakand, Buner, Chitral and Shangla, while tribal areas of Bajaur Agency, Khyber Agency, Kurram Agency, Mohmand Agency, North Waziristan Agency, Orakzai Agency and South Waziristan Agency would be benefitted from the scheme. SBP will share upto 50pc of bona fide losses of the banks against the loans funded under the scheme, he added. Under the scheme the banks would disburse an amount of Rs.901 million. The agricultural credit will mean only farm and non-farm credit for meeting the production/working capital requirements. All categories of farmers including owners, owner-cum-tenants and tenants of specific areas will be eligible for agricultural loans under the scheme. The commercial banks will provide agricultural loans to farmers as per their credit policy and SBP regulations. SBP Chief Manager said the banks would be encouraged to arrange for the insurance of loans provided under the scheme and mandatory crop loans for five major crops viz. wheat, rice, cotton, sugarcane and maize to avoid risk of losses due to natural calamities. Tenor of the crop production loans and its repayment would be based on the cropping cycle. For other farming activities working capital would be provided for a maximum period of one year. There will be no maximum limit for borrowing by the farmers under the scheme with maximum mark-up rate of 8 percent per annum. The banks would process loan applications within five working days after receipt. Banks would have to apprise reasons for rejecting the application, if any. The designated bank branches are ABL (Chitral), HBL (Chitral), MCB, NBP (Chitral, Boni, Mastuj, Darosh, Reshun, UBL (Timergarrah+Mingora) and Arif Habib Bank. For redressal of complaints, all designated banks had established help desks with a focal person, while SBP BSC (Bank) Peshawar can also be contacted on phone number 091-9211976. He said under the relief package announced by Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani for small farmers of Malakand Division and FATA, all agricultural loans of small farmers having outstanding balances as on 30.6.2009 of the districts of Malakand Division viz. Swat, Buner, Shangla, Lower Dir, Opper Dir, Malakand and Chitral and tribal agencies of Bajaur Kurram and Khyber Agency would be written off and their cost would be borne by the federal government. Criteria of small farmers will be farmers having subsistence land holding i.e. upto 12.5 acres and in case of non-farm sector livestock 20-5- cows/buffalos & upto 150 goats/sheep; poultry (upto 5000 birds/broilers and 1000 birds for layers: fisheries: one boat for marine and upto 2 acres pound for inland fisheries, he said. The third scheme of one-window operation for agricultural loaning Pilot Project Phase-II has been initiated in three districts of Mardan, Swabi and Mansehra. Bankers, staff of revenue department, post office and agricultural department facilitate the farmers under one-roof, he added. He said the fourth scheme was exchange/repayment of charred currency notes resulting from bomb blasts. Fot that purpose SBP BSC Peshawar had opened a special counter from 9:00 A.M to 5:00 P.M.