The recently-released Reserve Bank of India guidelines for the new regulatory framework in microfinance are expected to bring traction and flow in the steady demand lead to asset quality improvement.

The microfinance industry has witnessed a good rebound post Covid and has registered close to 80 per cent growth in loan disbursements during the first quarter of FY23 on a year-on-year basis.

According to industry veterans, the growth is likely to continue because of the conducive policy, pent-up demand and expansion of branch network. 

The 7th Eastern India Microfinance Summit, being organised by the Association of Microfinance Institutions - West Bengal in association with PwC, MFIN and Sa-Dhan, would help re-evaluate the strategic roadmap necessary for the microfinance industry to build products taking advantage of digital tools and technologies to serve the clients in a client-friendly manner.

The theme for this year’s summit, which is to be held on January 13, is “The Next Gen Microfinance - Role of Digital Technology in the evolving roadmap of microfinance”. 

The recently-released guidelines have unleashed the competitive forces in the industry pinning greater responsibility on boards of individual companies and SRO and the sector is well poised to take advantage of these regulations in reaching out to the vast underserved and unserved market.

Key issues

Some of the key issues to be deliberated at the summit would include the need for government to focus on further increasing the funding and liquidity support to the sector, particularly the smaller MFIs; whether RBI should look at differential pricing for digital offerings; need for apex financial institutions like Sidbi and Nabard to enhance equity and loan support to the MFIs particularly smaller MFIs among others.