In recent years, microfinance in India has emerged as the most suitable and practical alternative to conventional banking in reaching the poor population. Microfinance enables poor people to be thrifty and helps them in availing themselves of the credit and other financial services for improving their income and living standards. The Self-help Group (SHG) Bank Linkage Program was formally launched in 1992 as a flagship program that envisages the organization of the rural poor into SHGs for building their capacities to manage their own finances and then negotiate bank credit on commercial terms. The poor are encouraged to voluntarily come together to save small amounts regularly and extend micro loans among themselves. Once the group attains required maturity in handling larger resources, the bank credit follows.
This book explains the concepts associated with microfinance, traces its progress and performance, traces its progress and performance and examines the role of India's government agencies in its promotion. It also highlights the role of microfinance in the economic empowerment of women and as a tool of financial inclusion. A case study of microfinance in Haryana (a relatively developed state of North India) also forms part of the Book.