Anitha Bai operates a small tea and petty shop in rural Madhya Pradesh. By russavia – Wikimedia Commons
The Association of Microfinance Institutions – West Bengal (AMFI-WB) has organized a meeting of Bankers and MFIs to facilitate direct collaboration between Banks and MFIs to make the Indian dream of “Financial Inclusion” a reality.
Sri Ajit Maity, Chairperson, AMFI-WB said, “Currently, the industry is facing insufficient funding problem and is seeking bankers as a way to minimize the gap between supply and demand.”
The Bankers and MFIs meeting organized by AMFI-WB witnessed participation from cross section of microfinance players operating from West Bengal and senior state level officials from financial institutions including, State Bank of India, UCO Bank, Vijaya Bank, Union Bank, IDBI Bank, SIDBI, Corporation Bank etc.
Mr Anurag Srivastava, IAS, Joint Secretary, Dept of Finance, Govt of India said, “Since Indepence, poverty alleviation and financial inclusion has been in the main agenda of our government, but after 60 years we are still far from our dream. Prime Minister Narendra Modi re-christned Financial Inclusion mission as “Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana” and set a target to reach out 75 million households who are still unbanked.”
Mr Kuldip Maity, MD & CEO, Village Financial Services (VFS) said“ We are thankful to AMFI –WB for organizing a fruitful meet of Bankers and MFIs where we got the opportunity to discuss the burning issue of insufficient funding from the bankers. I urge that MFIs should be considered a social business that contributes to the development of the nation…We also request banks to consider lower interest loans to MFIs so that borrowers would be the ultimate beneficiaries.”
The Association of Microfinance Institutions – West Bengal (AMFI-WB) was founded as a self-regulatory body in 2006. The objective of this association was to bring under its umbrella all community microfinance organizations in West Bengal in order to build a of development finance community and help its members to serve their target clients, particularly women from poor families, in both rural and urban areas in pursuit of establishing stable livelihoods.