MFIs must expand

This is with reference to ‘Microfinance is fostering financial inclusion’ (January 28). Microfinance has grown rapidly as a tool to help entrepreneurs from under-represented and disadvantaged groups gain access to start-up financing. The largest target client group of microfinance is women, followed by youth, seniors, the unemployed and immigrants. Microfinance lenders have transformed themselves to deliver beyond lending — they have leveraged the relationship with clients and the community to offer insurance and a host of other relevant services.

MFIs must grow through credit plus products, leveraging data and analytics to drive efficiencies. At the same time, the sector is also being followed closely by the regulator to ensure customer interests are protected.

P Sundara Pandian

Virudhunagar, TN

Financial inclusion

If despite the massive success of PMJDY three-fourths of rural India and four-fifths of urban India are still outside financial inclusion, it’s an unfortunate situation. The government must ensure that no one remains unbanked. It must identify pockets or areas where there are financial inclusion issues, and then provide subsidies so that MFIs can go there and tap those segments of customers.

Bal Govind


Budget blues

Apropos ‘Halwa ceremony — Union Budget 2023-24 at the final stages’ (January 27), it is felt that the long-held practice of holding ‘Halwa’ ceremony as a prelude to the finalisation of the budgetary proposals ought to be dispensed with. The entire Budget-making process should be made an open ended and ongoing affair, implying complete shedding of its extant secrecy orientation.

SK Gupta

New Delhi

Layoffs by tech firms

As the global economy slows down, jobs are evaporating. But the daily layoffs coming from technology and app-based services are truly disturbing. As the global economy applied the brakes last year, tech companies including Amazon, Twitter, Google and Microsoft shed over 200,000 employees. Tech companies that expanded the fastest during the pandemic are the hardest hit today as they carry the most baggage.

However, there can be no laws to restrict hiring, nor can you stop companies from shedding surplus workers.

N Sadhasiva Reddy


Industrial policy

This refers to ‘New industrial policy for New India’ (January 26). While public confidence about India evolving into a developed country by 2047 is strengthening, the administrators and policymakers must formulate strategies to further boost the confidence to accomplish a harmonious, equitable and stable transition to occupy the position as the third largest economy in the world.

The emphasis in the new industrial policy must be on MSMEs, unicorns and start-ups, besides aiming for the development of the interdependent and interconnected segments of the economy. Producing for the globe and creating maximum domestic employment opportunities are vital to earn and disseminate income across the country so as to make the people part of the developmental activities. Making available institutional credit at a reasonable cost is imperative for MSMEs.

VSK Pillai

Changanacherry, Kerala