Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has said the devastating floods in the country have affected 2.6 million acres of cultivated land, with the loss of crops worth $2.35 billion.
Zardari, while addressing a meeting of the country's banking sector Thursday, said Pakistan is facing a huge loss of human lives and infrastructure due to the floods and around 75 districts have been badly affected, Xinhua reported.
The Pakistani president said a scheme should be devised to provide relief to the banks' existing borrowers in devastated areas and at the same time make provisions for fresh finances for the revival of economic activities.
The agriculture and housing sectors were the most affected areas and the banks were saddled with the responsibility of pressing into service their professional skills for addressing the issue, he said.
The government will provide free seeds to farmers early next month in the affected areas and also distribute the first instalment of Rs.5,000 of the relief assistance per family before Eid-ul-Fitr.
Zardari called upon the banking and finance sector to actively participate in flood relief and rehabilitation efforts.
The president said banks should provide necessary financial services to farmers and small business to help them restore their businesses, presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said.