ISLAMABAD – The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said landed nobility continued to misuse cheap agricultural credit, thus barring growth of this vital sector.

“As the banks pour more money into the agricultural sector, the output has reduced which proves misuse of loans by some major borrowers,” it said.

“Last year, banks disbursed Rs598.3 billion as loans against the target of Rs600 billion among 2.4 million farmers, but it failed to boost output, said PEW President Dr Murtaza Mughal.

He said that loan disbursement remained 16 percent higher than 2014-15, while the number of borrowers also grew by two hundred thousand.

“But this has failed to have an impact on the sector due to mismanagement,” he lamented.

Mughal said that it must be probed that the loans issued in the name of agriculture sector were actually invested in the same sector or somewhere else.

He said the government was looking for over three percent growth but the sector registered a negative growth as major crops productivity fell by 6.25 percent, while important crops showed a decline of 7.25 percent.