KARACHI - Banks disbursed Rs 159.3 billion during the first half of current fiscal year, which is 13.5 per cent higher than the disbursement of Rs 140.3 billion during the corresponding period last year. Banks achieved 44% of their annual indicative targets of Rs 360 billion despite multitude of challenges such as high non-performing loans, recovery drive, insufficient bank’s infrastructure and overall security and macroeconomic conditions. The agri outstanding portfolio of loans surged by Rs 40.8 billion or 17.3pc i.e. from Rs 235.9 billion to Rs 276.7 billion at end December, 2013 as compared to same period last year. The increase is mainly due to SBP’s initiative of introduction of annual outstanding indicative targets for banks. According to SBP, five major banks as a group disbursed agri loans of Rs 85.4 billion or 47.5% of its annual target which is higher by 12.3% from Rs 76.0 billion during the corresponding period last year.Amongst the major banks HBL, MCB and NBP achieved 53.3%, 52.6% and 50.5% of their annual targets respectively while UBL and ABL could achieve only 38.6% and 34.5% of their targets respectively.Amongst specialized banks, ZTBL could achieve only 34% of its target by disbursing Rs 23.7 billion against its annual target of Rs 69.5 billion while PPCBL achieved 48% of its target by disbursing Rs 4.3 billion during the period under review. Fourteen domestic private banks collectively achieved 42% of their targets, however, Sindh Bank has already surpassed its annual target by disbursing Rs 672.8 million against its target of Rs 600 million, while Bank Al Habib, the Bank of Khyber, the Bank of Punjab achieved 61%, 59%, 51% of their annual targets respectively. Likewise, Summit Bank, Silk bank and NIB Bank achieved 48%, 44% and 42% of their annual targets respectively. Amongst the 14 DPBs, Bank Alfalah, Soneri Bank, Faysal, and Askari Bank could achieve only 38.5%, 38%, 34%, and 20.5% of their annual targets respectively. Seven microfinance banks as a group disbursed agri. loans of Rs 11.2 billion or 57% of their annual target of Rs 19.6 billion. Under the Islamic modes of financing the newly inducted Islamic Banks collectively disbursed Rs 0.25 billion or 47.6% against a target of Rs 0.5 billion to agri. borrowers during period under review.