Monday, January 29, 2007

Micro Finance

Two-day microfinance conference to be held in Delhi
India Infoline News Service / Mumbai Jan 15, 2007 16:01
It intends to focus on an interface between the requirements of farmers, artisans, migrant and wage labourers and the smooth delivery of long-term sustained financial services
Sa-Dhan, an association of Community Development Finance Institutions in India, is holding the sixth annual microfinance policy conference “Greater Inclusion: Possibilities and Prospects” at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, on 17th and 18th January. The proposed conference intends to focus on an interface between the requirements of traditional and occupational groups like farmers, artisans, migrant and wage labourers etc. and the smooth delivery of long-term sustained financial services such as credit, savings, insurance, pension and money transfer services to them. The 2-day conference is being sponsored by SIDBI, NABARD, Grameen Foundation, Canara Bank, LIC, SBI, ICICI Bank.
The potential size of microfinance services seekers in India is estimated to be nearly 250 million people or nearly 75 million households out of whom around 60 million are rural and 15 million are urban households. Among the rural poor, 50% are landless, 43% are from scheduled castes and tribes, 43% are wage earners, and in 66% of families, most of the adults are illiterate. In the context of increasing rural migration to urban India, the urban poor are becoming a fastest growing section, as by 2010, they will constitute a large portion of the poor.
According to Ela R Bhatt, Chair Emeritus, Sa-Dhan, “The outreach of microfinance is growing rapidly in recent years in India with microfinance initiatives in terms of cumulative households reaching between 38 million-42 million households across the country. But this is much below the desired level of financial inclusion, which is the major policy issue in developing as well as in the developed nations. Moreover, while the forces of globalization have helped some sectors in expanding its horizon, it has also led to exclusion of the poor and marginalized. The consequences of this exclusion are manifested in various sorts of distress and socio-economic unrest in low income segment especially in rural areas and the agricultural sector.” Hence, it is essential to redefine the approach for financial inclusion by placing and integrating livelihood options and social security concerns of the low income segment up front.”
The 2-day conference will explore the strategies for a more inclusive, and coordinated effort between governmental bodies, formal banking system, corporate houses and the microfinance sector for greater financial inclusion in sharing the responsibility of development. It will also look at the integration of efforts of the microfinance sector with livelihoods promotion and discuss the challenges concerning the transaction costs for developing innovative and need-based products to remain people centric in this process.
Eminent speakers at the two-day conference include Sharad Pawar (Minister Agriculture, Govt of India), Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia (Deputy Chair, Planning Commission), Pawan Kumar Bansal (Minister of State, Finance Govt of India), Vinod Rai (Secretary, Financial Sector, Ministry of Finance), Usha Thorat (Dy Governor, RBI), Ela R Bhatt (Chair Emeritus, Sa-Dhan), Dr. Abusaleh Shariff (Chief Economist, NCAER), Vijay Mahajan (Member, Financial Inclusion Committee, Govt of India), Dr. A Vaidyanathan (Professor Emeritus MIDS & CDS), Rajiv Pratap Rudy (Former Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, Independent Charge), Margaret Alva (Gen Sec, All India Congress Committee), Dr. Vikram Akula (Founder & CEO, Swayam Krishi Sangam), M Balachandran (CMD, Bank of India), Dr V S Vyas (Professor Emeritus, IDS, Jaipur), Rakesh Rewari (DMDr, SIDBI) and Dr K G Karmakar (MD, NABARD) among others.
The conference will have participants who are key policy makers, bureaucrats, bankers, insurance experts, donors, practitioners, academicians, researchers, international experts, microfinance practitioners and SHG Leaders. The women SHG leaders will share their experience on financial inclusion and the livelihood challenges.
The conference will conclude with the release of the “VOLUNTARY MUTUAL CODE OF CONDUCT” in order to conclude the year long consultation with various stakeholders to bring more attention to the client requirements focusing on the governance aspects of the MFIs. It will be issued by Vinod Rai (Secretary, Finance Sector, MoF).


Outlook Magazine April 23, 2007

The Times of India, April 3, 2007

The Indian Express, March 29, 2007

The Hindu January 6, 2007

Times of India, December 29, 2006
Frontline December 15, 2006
Outlook Magazine December 4, 2006

The Hindu December 2, 2006

The Economist, 2-20th December 2006
Don’t blame it on the scriptures

New York Times, November 29, 2006

Download a copy of the report “social, economic and educational status of Muslim community of India” from :;


Member, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India
Committee for Consultations on Situation in Andhra Pradesh

Vigyan Bhawan,
New Delhi-1100o1, India

He was a Senior Research Fellow at the Internationl Food Policy Research Institute, New Delhi during 2008-2010. Earlier he was Chief Economist and heads the Human Development Programme of the NCAER from 1994 to February 2008. He has a doctoral degree from the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia; a Master Degree from the Bangalore University, India and Post-doctoral research experience from Economic Growth Centre, Yale University, USA. He served as the Member Secretary to the Prime Minister’s High Level Committee for the preparation of a report on the Social, economic and Educational status of the Muslim Community of India.

He has 30 years of consistent record of academic research in the field of Development Economics, Human Development, Poverty Studies, Demography and Health Economics, Labour and Social Security, Social Sector Budgetary Analysis and Micro-Impact of Economic Reforms. A recipient of the Rockefeller Foundation International Family Fellowship for research at Yale University during 1991-92, recent accomplishments includes publication of India - Human Development Report (1999), and a series of 16 state reports in four volumes; all published by the Oxford University Press, New Delhi. He has in all 10 books and about 75 research publications to his credit. He is one of the Principal Investigators of the ongoing ‘India Program of Research in Human Development 2003-07’ a four years long empirical study jointly undertaken by the University of Maryland and NCAER and funded by the National Institute of Health and Human Development and the World Bank both at Washington DC. He was selected as one of the India Today Magazine’s ‘faces of millennium (Economist)’ in January 2000 issue.