New Delhi: The World Bank has approved two projects worth US$407 million to India, consisting of a US$300 million loan for the “Scaling up Sustainable and Responsible Microfinance Project” and a $107 million loan for the ”India Statistical Strengthening Project”.
“Increasing access to finance for millions of India’s financially under-served people remains a challenge,” said Niraj Verma, World Bank senior financial sector specialist and project team leader in a statement.
The funding from the Scaling up Sustainable and Responsible Microfinance Project will be used by the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) for on-lending to Indian Microfinance Institutions (MFIs).The funding to MFIs is designed to support their operations and growth, enhance their financial strength, and enable them to leverage private commercial funds to on-lend larger amounts to the under-served. The project will also support responsible finance initiatives such as the establishment of a microfinance information platform and promotion of adherence to a code of conduct for MFIs, as well as for capacity building and monitoring.
The loan for strengthening of statistical system will support an institutional and policy based reform of the government for strengthening state statistical systems within a national policy framework. It will enable states and union territories to make progress towards common national standards relating to key statistical activities and to improve the credibility, timeliness and accuracy of these and other statistics at both central and the state levels.