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Micro-Credit : Background & Perspective

By Laxmi Murthy

More than 10,000 micro-lending organizations are today providing loans to 25 million poor people throughout the world, most of them women. The number of these organisations grew dramatically during the 1990s, spurred by the notion of 'self-help' and a faith in the creditworthiness and entrepreneurial potential of the poor. But is the current euphoria over micro-credit missing some fundamental questions? Does micro-credit really reach the poorest? Does it really empower women?

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The bank-SHG model of microfinance in India

By R V Bhavani

As of 2010, the total number of SHGs directly linked to banks stood at 69.53 lakh, with a savings amount of Rs 6,199 crore and loan outstanding of Rs 28,038 crore, according to the recently released ‘Status of Microfinance in India’ report by NABARD

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Andhra assembly passes bill to rein in MFIs

Following reports of harassment by loan recovery agents and suicides by defaulters, Andhra Pradesh has passed a bill to discipline microfinance institutions

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MFIs must have their own code of ethics

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee hints that the government does not intend to regulate interest rates in the microfinance sector, but that state governments were well within their rights to regulate lending practices

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MFIs lay small-debt trap in Andhra

Microfinance institutions in Andhra Pradesh are being scrutinised as the state government admits to over 20 suicides in the last few weeks due to high interest rates and coercive methods of recovery

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The challenges of micro-finance in the north-east

By Anjali Deshpande

 

The model adopted in India for disbursing micro-credit to the lower income groups through Self Help Groups (SHGs) will have to be suitably modified if the eight states of the north-east are to be included in financial services, says a recent study

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Microcredit reaches 133 million, says Microcredit Summit Campaign

A new report claims that more than half a billion people could be benefiting from microcredit around the world, but that the microfinance movement was in danger of becoming a victim of its own success

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India to introduce bill on microfinance

The government is working on a microfinance bill to help create an appropriate environment for the provision of such services. The draft legislation is likely to be introduced in the forthcoming budget session of Parliament

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'Banker to the world's poor' first Bangladeshi to win Nobel Peace Prize

Economist Muhammad Yunus' idea to lend small sums of money to those who couldn't get loans from banks has offered millions of impoverished Bangladeshi women a way out of the poverty trap. It gave birth to the microcredit revolution and three decades later, has won its pioneer the Nobel Peace Prize

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Are micro-finance institutions exploiting the poor?

By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

The high interest rates and forced loan recovery practices of micro-finance institutions have been held responsible for the suicide of several farmers in Andhra Pradesh. It is evident that poverty makes good business sense to MFIs, writes Sudhirendar Sharma

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Micro-finance institutions lay a debt trap in rural AP

Faced with a new crisis in its rural areas, the Andhra Pradesh government is contemplating legislation to punish erring micro-finance institutions and asking banks to enforce a code of conduct on them

http://www.hindu.com/

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Grameen Bank: Where beggars are beneficiaries

Noted economist Professor Muhamad Yunus, founder of Bangladesh's world-renowned Grameen Bank, and winner of several international honours including the Magsaysay Award and the World Food Prize, speaks about the microcredit experiment

www.deccanherald.com

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Banking on poor women: Grameen Bank

By Laxmi Murthy

Bangladesh's Grameen Bank is credited with pioneering the micro-credit movement all over the developing world. The Bank brought credit to the poor, women and illiterate, creating a methodology and an institution around the financial needs of the poor

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International Year of Micro-credit, 2005

By Laxmi Murthy

Next year, the UN, governments, civil society and the private sector join hands to raise the profile and build the capacity of the micro-credit and micro-finance sectors

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Women's empowerment, or a debt trap?

By Laxmi Murthy

Micro lending does create a space for women. But it does not change macro structures or provide a transformative framework, says a women's group called Nirantar

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'Micro-credit improves cash flow but doesn't create wealth'

By Dr Sudhirender Sharma

NGOs, banks and corporations have benefited from micro-credit at the cost of the poor, says development analyst Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

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Now they lend money to the moneylender!

District officials and Unicef have collaborated on the Integrated Women's Empowerment Programme in Maharashtra's Yavatmal district. More than 800 women's self-help groups have been set up, helping villagers set up dairy and horticulture cooperatives and several other livelihood projects. With their new-found confidence, women are now taking charge of village education and other public services

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