The Microfinance Industry in India
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In the late 1990s, the microfinance business was boosted by the innovative initiatives take up by microfinance institutions (MFIs), non-governmental institutions (NGOs) and banks. They offered micro-credit i.e. credit provided to poor people for financial and business services and for self employment in rural areas. It fulfilled their basic needs and emergency requirements. The microfinance business had the ability to reach the most deserving people and also increased the repayment rates for banks, which were, at the time, burdened by mounting non-performing assets (NPAs) on the rural credit extended by them.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)6 and NABARD were actively involved in spreading the network of commercial banks in rural areas, especially after nationalization. RBI had made it compulsory for all private sector banks to open at least 25% of their branches in rural and semi-urban areas.
6] Established in 1935, Reserve Bank of India is the central bank of India. RBI is the monetary authority, regulator and supervisor of Indian banking system, manager of exchange control and issuer of currency. RBI is also the banker to the government and banker to the banks in India.
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