KARACHI - Agricultural credit disbursement by commercial and specialised banks rose 19 per cent year-on-year to Rs 17.847b in the first month of the current 2009-10 fiscal year (FY10). In absolute terms, disbursement of credit to the agriculture sector increased by over Rs 2.849 billion in July, 2009, when compared with total disbursement of Rs 14.998 billion in the same month last 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 Rs 10.337 billion in July, 2009 compared with Rs 6.690 billion in July, 2008, depicting an increase of Rs 3.647 billion or 54.51 per cent. Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited, the largest specialized bank, disbursed a total of Rs 3.509 billion in July, 2009, up 12 percent when compared with Rs 3.132b in July 2008, while disbursement by Punjab Provincial Co-operative Bank Limited stood at Rs 548.127m in July, 2009 compared with Rs 699.062m in the same month last year. Besides, 14 domestic private banks also loaned a combined Rs 3.453b in July, 2009, compared with Rs 4.477b disbursed in July, 2008. It may be recalled that the State Bank of Pakistan has set an indicative agricultural credit disbursement target of Rs 260 billion for FY10. Banks disbursed a total of Rs 233.01 billion to the agricultural sector in FY09.