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Ashok Kotwal
GST Explainer: Introduction
Posted on: 16 Oct 2017
Seventeen years after its framework was formed, India’s biggest tax reform – the goods and ... read on »
Introducing a new feature: ‘Explainers’
Posted on: 16 Oct 2017
Our day-to-day lives are tossed around due to economic changes, resulting sometimes from g ... read on »
On demonetisation
Posted on: 23 Dec 2016
On the evening of 8 November, the Prime Minister announced on national television that Rs. ... read on »
Introduction to e-Symposium: The GDP conundrum
Posted on: 16 Nov 2016
Ever since India’s Central Statistical Organisation came out with the new GDP series with ... read on »

Tag: microfinance

Financial inclusion: Concepts, issues, and policies for India
Nalini Gulati , Nirvikar Singh
Posted on: 17 Aug 2017
Topics:   Finance


The International Growth Centre recently brought out a synthesis paper (Singh 2017) that lays out the basic concepts surrounding financial inclusion, and reviews a wide range of IGC and other studies on financial inclusion. At a workshop organised by the IGC in collaboration with Ideas for India and Indian Statistical Institute, Rohini Pande (Harvard Kennedy School), S. Krishnan (State government of Tamil Nadu), Ashok Bhattacharya (Business Standard), and R Gopalan (ex-Ministry of Finance) discussed the key lessons emerging from research, implications for policy, and areas where further work is needed.
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Socially disadvantaged groups and microfinance in India
Jean-Marie Baland , Rohini Somanathan , Lore Vandewalle
Posted on: 16 May 2016

The benefits of microfinance are in the details. This column takes a look at lending by commercial banks in India to self-help groups – smaller, informal community-based groups – as a new and successful microfinance initiative. Different ways of thinking about getting credit to the poorest and most marginalised in society can work, but only if the institutions are properly geared up for their customers
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Emergence of Bandhan as a bank: A new era in the Indian banking industry
Somdutta Basu , Souvik Dutta , Abhirup Sarkar
Posted on: 27 Aug 2015
Topics:   Finance


At a time when the Indian banking industry is experiencing a steep rise in bad loans, Bandhan – an MFI with a near 100% loan recovery rate – has converted into a bank. Based on a survey of 112 Bandhan clients in West Bengal, this column highlights the features of Bandhan’s lending model that have enabled it to keep its bad loans at negligible levels.
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Willingness to pay for index-based crop microinsurance in India
Janani Ramasubramanian
Posted on: 22 Apr 2013
Topics:   Finance , Agriculture


Given the significance of the agricultural sector in India and its vulnerability, an adequate and sustainable risk management system is critical. However, uptake of microinsurance is quite low. This column presents research that shows that while there is awareness regarding market-based formal insurance schemes, people continue to be more comfortable relying on own savings or informal borrowing, which can only help manage small shocks or losses.
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Why some poverty-fighting programmes show no net impact
Jonathan Morduch , Shamika Ravi
Posted on: 16 Oct 2012

An increasingly popular way to tackle acute poverty is ‘targeting the ultra-poor’. The scheme provides not only money but also training and support and has been hailed a huge success in its origin country Bangladesh. But this column evaluates a copycat scheme in southern India and finds that the gains are met by losses elsewhere and that, overall, the effect is minimal.
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Microfinance and predatory lending: The same old story?
Latika Chaudhury , Anand Swamy
Posted on: 19 Sep 2012

Once hailed as a near-miraculous way of lending money to the poor, microfinance is now often seen as exploitation – and governments are stepping in. This column looks at another point in India’s history where lawmakers have intervened in lending practices: following the Deccan Riots between farmers and moneylenders in 1876. It argues that in hindsight this was an overreaction – and perhaps there is a lesson for today.
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