What should regulation do in the field of micro-finance

Renuka Sane, Susan Thomas

Recent events in India have brought a fresh focus on the appropriate regulatory stance towards micro-finance. In this paper, we review facts and recent experience about Indian microfinance. We analyse the puzzles of financial regulation in this field from first principles, and argue that the mainstream mechanisms of consumer protection and micro-prudential regulation need to be modified owing to joint-liability groups. From this perspective, we suggest regulatory strategies that need to be adopted for dealing with micro-credit and financial distribution that focuses on the poor. This analysis and conceptual framework also helps analyse the two policy responses till date, the Malegam report and the draft Microfinance Bill, 2011.

Citation: What should regulation do in the field of micro-finance, Renuka Sane, Susan Thomas. Economic and Political Weekly, 2012