Microfinance Conferences – The need to introspect with integrity

By Ramesh S Arunachalam, Rural Finance Practitioner

Yesterday, I received a mailer that invited me to register for a National micro-finance, being held by Sa-Dhan and FICCI, at Ashoka Hotel, New Delhi on March 15th and 16th, 2011. The conference, according to the brochure, aims to create a space for dialogue between policy makers, MFIs and community leaders. The theme of this years conference is “Re-Engineering Micro-Finance: Need for New Products and Policies”. Prof Yunus is to be the Chief Guest at the conference and he is expected be there for both the days.

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Microfinance Clients

While I appreciate the efforts taken by Sa-Dhan, I must also state that there are far too many (national) conferences in Indian micro-finance…We had one in November 2010 and we are having another one in March 2011 and I am sure we will have a couple more through the year in July and November 2011 again…

Going by the number of conferences over the years, I dare say that, had only the real issues been discussed in these conferences, neither would “The AP crisis” have happened nor would we find ourselves in the marco mess (in the words of Mr Al Fernandez) that we are currently facing…

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