Micro-credit outreach witnesses 22pc growth

ISLAMABAD: The micro-credit outreach domain in the country, continued to exhibit upward trend, has witnessed 22 percent growth during 2016.
The government, recognizing need to protect the poor and the vulnerable, has launched several social safety net programmes and one of them was micro-finance which is considered an important player in promoting financial inclusion agenda.
During the period, Gross Loan Portfolio registered a 47 per cent growth while micro-savings, on the other hand, posted considerable growth under active savers by 65 per cent and value of savings by 88 per cent which is attributable to increase in m-wallet accounts and taping higher ticket size.
Sources at Finance Division on Sunday said, micro- insurance also remained positive whereas sum insured posted a hefty growth of 85 per cent. This segment is primarily dominated by credit life and health insurance.
It is mentioned here that microfinance industry is primarily engaged in empowering marginalized section of society through provision of credit and making them self-sufficient. The sector has been serving people near poverty line by not only providing credit products but also through savings, insurance, and remittance services.
The continued growth in the sector is primarily attributed to enabling environment, supportive policy and regulatory environment, healthy industry infrastructure that includes Microfinance Credit Information Bureau (MF-CIB), government backed credit schemes, client protection initiatives, and innovations in products and delivery channels brought in by the players.
The objective of the microfinance initiative is to provide liquidity to microfinance providers in response to tighter liquidity conditions. It is provided as a package through microfinance banks, microfinance institutions, Rural Support Programmes (RSPs), and others including Commercial Financial Institutions (CFIs) and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs). - NNI