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Microfinance in India   
Microfinance in India
Issues, Problems and Prospects:
A Critical Review of Literature
S.L. Shetty
In association with EPW Research Foundation, Mumbai

Hard-bound Book (6½ × 9¾)  :   Pages : 658

2012  Edition   :   ISBN - 978-81-7188-939-6

Price : Rs. 1295.00 / USD 89.95

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The study is an epitome of the mind-boggling flurry of literature on the subject of microfinance. But, it has gone far beyond the review of literature on the concept, country models and history of microfinance movement in India; it has provided a thematic work on the factual profiles of different microcredit programmes prevalent in the country and their progress, The book contains a very up-to-date review of the regulatory measures and their nuances and a detailed review of the evaluation and impact studies. The book also dwells on the limitations of the mFI movement to satisfy the credit needs of the vast informal sector enterprises which also seem to get generally neglected by the formal financial institutions. This has led the study to a review of the new initiatives which the authorities have taken under the broad theme of ‘financial inclusion.’ Keeping the broader objective of distributional goals embedded in the microfinance movement, the book attempts an assessment of the wider challenges faced by the financial system, and provides a dossier of suggestions for reaching out to the small and informal sectors on a more effective scale. As for the mFI movement itself, apart from bringing out it potentialities and also critiquing it, the study presents a set of suggestions for strengthening and expanding its role.

About the Author:

Dr. S.L. Shetty’s interests in the discipline of Economics have been wide-ranging, with macroeconomics and the financial sector issues being the core. He served the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for 24 years and retired in 1993 as Chief of its research department. On leaving the RBI, he became the Founder Director of EPW Research Foundation (EPWRF) in which capacity he continued for 16 years. While in the RBI, he spent 4 years in a foreign central bank on an IMF assignment.

In academic circles, Dr. Shetty is known for his seminal work titled Structural Retrogression in the Indian Economy since the Mid-Sixties (NIBM, 1978) and a series of other contributions through the columns of the EPW. They have ranged from monetary and fiscal policies to money market studies and development issues in the financial sector.


List of Tables, Figures and Boxes 9


—K. Kanagasabapathy

Editor’s Introduction
—S. L. Shetty

1. Background to the Study

Theoretical Undercurrents Relevant to the Study

Structural Disabilities of the Indian Economy: Imperatives
of Concerted Institutional Support for the Marginal Groups

Nature of Financial Exclusion amongst Farm Households
and Non-Farm Enterprises

Need for a Theory of Finance Accommodating
the Structural Characteristics of the Indian Economy

2. Microfinance: The Concept, Models and History

The Concept of Microfinance

The Origin and History of Microfinance Movement

Extant Models of Group Financing Arrangements in Vogue

Commercial Banks in Microfinance

International Initiatives in Microfinance

3. Country Models and Experiences

NGO-Supported mFIs

Government-Supported Microfinance

Bank-Supported mFI Arrangements

4. Evolution of Microfinance in India


SHG-Banks Linkage Programme of NABARD

SIDBI Foundation for Micro-Credit (SFMC)

Microfinance in Government Programmes

Independent Private Microfinance Institutions

Microfinance Programme of ICICI Bank

5. Factual Profile of Microfinance Sector in India

Overall Fact Sheet of Progress of SHG-BL Programme

SIDBI Foundation for Micro-Credit (SFMC): A Progress Sheet

Progress of Independent mFIs

Microcredit and Mainstream Banking:
A Distressing Case of Financial Exclusion

6. Regulation and the New Bill

Laissez-Faire Approach to Regulating mFIs

Regulation of the mFI Sector: The Indian Story

Fresh Proposals for MFI Regulations in India:
Controversies a Galore

The Malegam Committee, the RBI Response,
the mFI Bill of 2011 and All that

7. A Detailed Review of Evaluation and Impact Studies

State of the Microcredit Summit Campaign Reports:
Scope for Caveats on Claims of Outreach

Impact of Microfinance: Divergent Results

8. Emerging Debate on Critical Issues

Critical Issues of Concern for mFIs

Microfinance: Future Challenges and Strategies

9. Conclusions and Recommendations

An Assessment: Wider Challenges before the Financial System

Key Suggestions and Recommendations concerning
the Total mFI Sector

Financial Inclusion: Resurrection of the Goals
of Bank Nationalisation and Renewed Emphasis on Small
and Informal Sectors

Substantive Recommendations on the
Role of the Financial System for Broadening Growth and
the Pattern of Development


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