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Microfinance summit for steps to check exploitation of poor

Special Correspondent

Meet to have sessions on themes related to microfinance, issues and challenges and way forward for inclusive development


About 75 participants from USA, Philippines, Afghanistan, etc. expected to participate

The motto of the three-day summit is ‘development with dignity'


HYDERABAD: Worried over the trend of commercialisation of microfinance services originally envisaged as an important strategy to address poverty, an international summit on microfinance to be held here from Tuesday will analyse the reasons and explore ways to bring the sector back on to the track.

Giving the details, Minister for Women Development and Child Welfare and Indira Kranthi Patham (IKP) Sunita Laxma Reddy told reporters here on Monday that the three-day fourth international summit ‘International Alternative Summit on Microfinance and Inclusive Development' will have ‘Microfinance and Inclusive Development' as its main theme.

It was being organised by Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP), AP Government in association with the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) of Central Government and International Network of Alternative Financial Institutions (INAFI).

Ms. Sunita said that about 75 participants from countries like Bangladesh, Philippines, Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and USA were attending the summit along with the representatives of SHGs, government, NGOs and banks.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy would give the inaugural address and the Union Minister of State for Forests and Environment Jairam Ramesh would deliver the key note address.

The Minister said that unfortunately the MFIs which initially started as NGOs drifted from the objective to promote microfinance as an alternative solution for empowerment of poor communities and focused only on maximising profits by giving multiple loans without due diligence.

This led to several poor families getting caught in the debt trap. That's when the State government brought the legislation to regulate the commercialised MFIs and safeguard the poor.

The three-day summit would have parallel sessions on various themes related to microfinance, issues and challenges and the way forward for inclusive development, she said.

SERP CEO B. Rajsekhar said that this summit would comprise like-minded organisations who view microfinance activities for facilitating the socio-economic development of the BPL families. The summit thus chose ‘development with dignity' as its motto.

Mr. Kalyanasundar, Chief Executive, INAFI, said the summit would focus on community ownership as an alternative to exploitative system by ensuring micro-credit, savings, insurance as a package.

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