The Microfinance Industry in India
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"Microfinance in India is approaching a historic 'tipping point' that could lead to a massive poverty reduction in the next five to ten years." 1
- Grameen Foundation US in 2005.
"Microfinance is not a charity. It is a way to extend the same rights and services to low-income households that are available to everyone else. It is recognition that poor people are the solution, not the problem." 2
- Kofi Annan, Secretary General, United Nations in 2004.
India has one of most extensive banking infrastructures in the world. However, millions of poor people in India do not have access to basic banking services like savings and credit. In the mid-1990s, about 70% of India's population lives in rural areas which account for only 30% of the bank deposits.
Commenting on the problems faced by the microfinance industry in India, YSP Thorat, managing director of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), and Graham AN Wright, an international expert in microfinance, wrote, "Poor credit-deposit ratios, unsustainable lending and high-levels of non-performing assets often cripple much of this infrastructure."5
1] Grameen Foundation, India Initiative, Winter 2005 Update, www.gfusa.org.
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