Microfinance has been acknowledged as an effective tool for rural upliftment and development the world over. Microfinance enables the poor to have access to much-needed finance, which goes a long way towards the betterment of their lives. Several MFI (Microfinance Institution) models, primarily promoted by Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), have been working independently for a long time in India too.
AMFI – WB envisions a community of microfinance institutions who are committed to initiate a significant change in the life of poor especially women for their enhancement. It was formed to deliver better services to the poor, thereby helping to improve the quality of their lives. It has been playing a very active and instrumental role towards the betterment of the sector. Some of the features which distinguishes West Bengal based MFIs from the other players of the country are highlighted below:
- The association meets regularly to discuss the problems and progress of the sector in the state and helps keep co-ordination and competition on healthy track. The same applies and is duly maintained at the block and district levels.
- Negotiations with Government officials, other stakeholders and the public opinion in favor of the sector has always been taken.
- In view of the present situation, interest rates have been reduced by all the MFIs to below 25%.
- Pivotal role has been played by MFIN in gathering data which has prevented multiple lending process to be practised
- 100% code of conduct as prescribed by MFIN and SA-DHAN has been adopted.
- Any form of coercive method of collection from the clients is strictly monitored.
- Due to the above mentioned reasons, no such incidences of suicide has been reported as of yet in West Bengal.
- Loan-size in the state has been reduced and disbursements are being made in conservative manner and are thus being kept below Rs.25,000.
- Timely repayments are being made by the borrowers till date.
- Good track record with all the banks are being maintained by the MFIs so far inspite of the trying times.
A summary of the consolidated performance of AMFI – WB is published below :
|No. Of branches
|No. Of borrowers
|No. Of staff
|On time repayment rate
N:B: As per available data from 23 MFIs:
Data based on 20 member organization and Bandhan Bank data not included.