‘Ensure transparency in microcredit activities’

Speakers at a meeting here underscored the need for establishing transparency and accountability in micro-credit activities to ensure development and build a poverty and hunger free Bangladesh, BSS reports.

The role of microcredit is very important towards improving the living and livelihood condition of the marginalized people. So, all the microcredit activities must be effective and pro-people.

They came up with the observations while conducting different sessions of a two-day training workshop styled “Micro financial Operation and Management” that ended today in Rajshahi.

Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA) organized the regional training for the representatives and members of different microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Rajshahi region at Ashrai Research and Training Centre.

Main thrust of the training course was to expand micro-credit activities in rural areas by establishing coordination between commercial banks and microfinance institutions.

MRA Executive Vice Chairman Md Fashiullah, Directors Yeakub Hossain and Nure Alam Mehedi and Deputy Director Abdul Mannan conducted the training sessions as resource persons.

They told the participants that the gradual rise in the number of microcredit recipients is mainly due to the government’s favourable policy for the sector. Easier availability of small credit than that of the country’s commercial banks also led to the gradual rise in the number of the beneficiaries.

The borrowers are becoming less dependent on banks as the MFIs are ensuring their presence across the country, especially in rural areas.

The MFIs are helping the government enhance financial inclusion by bringing unbanked people under its coverage, he mentioned.

Besides, many poor families depend on the MFIs for funds they require to continue with their small business or for other purposes in rural areas.

In his remarks, Md Fashiullah asked microfinance institutions to properly follow laws and regulations to ensure discipline in the sector.

“It is high time to bring transparency and accountability in micro-credit activities,” he said, adding that poverty must be reduced through expansion of micro-credit to turn Bangladesh into a middle-income country.

He also urged private commercial banks, from their sense of social accountability, to disburse credit through microfinance institutions at low interest rates.

Fashiullah said many NGOs are helping the government alleviate poverty in rural areas and microfinance institutions should provide banks with necessary information to get risk-free loans.

He called upon NGOs to publish annual reports to ensure transparency and accountability in their activities.