Bill to regulate microfinance sector on cards

Thursday, September 21, 2006

International venture funds foraying into microfinance will not have to grapple with conflicting rules of operation.

The government is preparing a bill to regulate the sector, which is expected to grow to Rs 35,000 crore, by ?10.
The big funds planning to make a foray into the sector include, the Maharashtra government promoted VC Fund -Urjankur, UK-based CDC, Unitus Private Equity and Delhi-based Lok Capital.

Even IFC has set up a fund with the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Development Corporation (APIDC), for the purpose. Finance ministry services special secretary Vinod Rai said on Wednesday, the microfinance legislation will be tabled in the winter session of Parliament.

This would provide a regulator for the banking needs of more than 400 million Indians, who are currently out of the banking system. ?The draft (on micro finance) is ready. It is likely to be put before Parliament?, Rai said at a CII seminar on microfinance.

He said the stress will be given on development and nurturing of the microfinance movement in the country. The formal and informal channels should club synergies, to push growth and yet be development oriented, he added.

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Source: The Economic Times (link opens in a new window)