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Micro-finance part of reforms, says Antony

Special Correspondent

Thiruvananthapuram: Defence Minister A.K. Antony, on Monday, said the promotion of micro-finance sector by the United Progressive Alliance marked the second stage of bank reforms in the country, addressing the financial requirements of all sections of people.

Inaugurating the Janasree Sustainable Mission's micro-finance company and the fourth anniversary of the organisation, Mr. Antony said the first bank reforms were taken up by Indira Gandhi, with the nationalisation of banks. Till then, capital was in the hands of a few, but this changed with nationalisation. Today, micro-finance units were handling more than Rs.1,000 crore, making available credit to small businesses, farmers and traders, he said. Mr. Antony, however, advised caution to the organisers of Janasree in handling funds.

“There should be proper accounting systems and funds should be carefully handled. Otherwise one could burn one's fingers. There could be health problems in an organisation that grows at a fast pace,” he said.

Mr. Antony said the Kudumbasree, which was launched by the UDF government, could generate many opportunities in the State's service sector. Both Kudumbasree and Janasree would be amply supported once the UDF was at the helm, he said.

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