Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Review of BANKER TO THE POOR

The Hindu has a review of this book - Indian edition brought out by Penguin Books here. It is pertinent to quote the last paragraph from the review here:
The book, first published in 1998, has just been published here in India. This is nine years too late. Perhaps, if it had come sooner we would not be seeing the Micro-Finance Sector (Development and Regulation) Bill 2007 in its current shape. The Bill seems to be a travesty of the original intentions of the micro-finance movement and takes a top down approach to supplying credit to the poor. Yunus has clearly specified a bottom up approach to make the scheme work “as intended”. The Bill, in the name of increasing the supply of credit to the poor, could actually put the deposits of the poor at risk and open the way for unscrupulous “charities” to manipulate the thrift market for their own ends. What this will do to the existing thousands of crores of deposits that self-help groups have in the commercial banking sector is anyone’s guess. One hopes a better assessment of consequences is made and more caution exercised before gifting the sector to so called micro-finance institutions. Please read the book Mr.Chidambaram.

2 comments:

era.murukan said...

The interesting lines in the review by Cauvery Bapaiah are (I do not know whether she is quoting from the book or infering from it)

In his extraordinary fight to give credit to poor women without collateral, he faced opposition from men, who did not want their wives to get loans; mullahs, who claimed they did not approve of loans; moneylenders, who did not like the competition; and even Marxists who said it would thwart the revolution if people got better off.

Badri said...

She is inferring from it - not a direct quote. Yunus narrates incidents where Mullahs and Menfolk prevented the women from taking loans. He also talks off the opposition from the leftists.

If you look through some of the postings in this blog, you will find that the left wing abhors micro finance even now.