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Presentation on theme: "MICROFINANCE SUMMIT 2010 NEPAL ROLE OF STATE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF MICROFINANCE SECTOR By Nara Hari Dhakal Microfinance Specialist P.O. Box 10475 Kathmandu,"— Presentation transcript:

1 MICROFINANCE SUMMIT 2010 NEPAL ROLE OF STATE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF MICROFINANCE SECTOR By Nara Hari Dhakal Microfinance Specialist P.O. Box 10475 Kathmandu, Nepal February 14, 2010

2 Background Role of the state in financial market development is one of the long-standing and unresolved debates engaging economists around the world. Ironically, much of the literatures on this subject are lopsided on addressing issues related to commercial finance and there have been limited discussions on issues related to financial services for the poor. The enormity of poor people’s demand for a variety of financial services and potentials of sustainable financial institutions to meet such demand is a relatively new area of concern in microfinance literature.

3 Contd.. While proper state interventions influence involvement of stakeholders, social welfare and lay foundations for a sound microfinancial system while making a positive contribution to industry growth, the inappropriate government interventions jeopardize sustainable development of microfinance as happened in case of agricultural finance during 1960s-1980s in most developing countries. Literatures on role of the state in developing microfinance sector generally provide a standard list of measures that state should do to promote microfinance but such a list has limited significance to policy makers and practitioners as they need to be tailored consistent to country context and realities.

4 Objectives and Scope General Discusses the role of state on developing microfinance sector to enhance access to financial services to a majority of un- served and under-served poor and low-income households with emphasis on two aspects: sustainable financial services and enhancing access to financial services to unreached. Scope Review of different schools of thoughts on this subject, Discuss the state’s role considering country context, realities and environment within which existing financial market operates. Emphasize sustainability and mass outreach at the outset in cognizance of significance of the debate for financial sector development and the fact that often policy makers’ concerned on providing services to poor tend to ignore issues relating to permanency of services.

5 Review of Literature School of thoughts Laissez-faire School: state should maintain macroeconomic stability and entrust the private and non-government sector with the responsibility to enhance access to financial services and sustainable microfinance development. Interventionist School: market failure necessitate the state to involve on enhancing access to financial services and sustainable microfinance development. Moderate Interventionist School: State should not only maintain macroeconomic stability but also provide enabling policy environment and essential financial infrastructure, except direct interventions in providing financial services. To sum-up, three school of thoughts emphasize that state has definite role to play for developing microfinance sector, however, exact type and magnitude of roles varies depending on the complexities involved in financial development and level of maturity of the microfinance industry.

6 Contd…. Fundamentals Considerations on States Involvement Macroeconomic Instability State of banking and financial system development Stage of development vis-à-vis essential triangles of microfinance and triple bottom-line Structure of microfinance sector (public/private, community based/commercial oriented) Size of the potential microfinance market Rural infrastructure Resource flow in microfinance sector (integrated versus isolated)

7 Findings and Discussions State and Microfinance Nexus Pre-1990s era: welfare oriented microfinance services, trials and errors, etc. 1990s – 2007s: financial innovations, business orientation, transformation, rapid institution growth 2008 – till data: consolidation and system development (microfinance policy, microfinance acts and rules) Nascent stage on achieving essential triangle of microfinance and Increased awareness towards triple bottom lines.

8 Role of the Government Protector role Legal and regulatory environment, Protect savers, allow MFIs to mobilize external resources and offer an official recognition against their informal and sometimes unfair competitors. Builds trust and addresses imbalances between customers and financial institutions. Protection role of the state will be more challenging with the introduction of new products and services, delivery channels and players. Protective regulation must be proportionate or appropriately “light touch” if it is to protect consumers against serious abuse while not prematurely impeding access or innovation. Increase transparency in the sector.

9 Contd.. Provider Role Engage as a direct Provider of financial services, especially subsidized credit, Such a role combines both financial and policy objectives, Having the state act as provider of financial services also may create unfair competition by offering subsidized credit and erode payment culture if collections are more relaxed. Where an extensive network of financial institutions already exists efficiently transform and restructure public institutions to strengthen structure of financial system. When no rural banking network exists, create a minimum banking structure by developing public branches or incentive for commercial banks to adequately address demand of specific poorer segments of the population.

10 Contd.. Promotional Role State has many options to serve as promoter of financial inclusion which can be either direct and indirect. Indirect promotion tools include policies and investments that benefit microfinance industry by promoting fair competition, strengthening payment system, supporting integration of microfinance within public sector, etc. State also may promote microfinance sector more directly by developing a national microfinance strategy, establishing local wholesale facilities that provide MFIs with financial and technical assistance or by supporting deprived sector lending in the selected un-served remote areas.

11 State’s Priorities in Microfinance Sector Complete phase-out of directed credit programs Support ICT development in rural areas Allow room for foreign equity participation Reform state-owned rural financial institutions Revisit design approaches to microfinance service delivery Microfinance and poverty reduction Regulation and supervision Donor support on microfinance sector Devise mechanism for one window system of resource flow

12 Summary and Conclusion State has an important role to play in developing a sustainable microfinance industry. There are three school thoughts namely: laissez-faire school, interventionist school and moderate interventionist school, concerning the role of state in developing microfinance sector State's involvement in microfinance sector is the function of macroeconomic instability, maturity of banking system, stage of development and structure of microfinance sector, size of the potential microfinance market and rural infrastructure. State could have three broader roles: protector, provider and promotional role. International practice highlights protector role of state as most consistently useful for developing permanent access to finance compared to providers and promotional role. State should play an important role in setting a supportive policy environment In the context of Nepal, action of the state must stimulate expansion of financial services in remote areas while protecting poor people’s savings and should concentrate at maintaining macroeconomic stability, avoiding interest- rate caps, and refraining from distorting market with unsustainable subsidized and high-delinquency loan programs.


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