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The passage of time, the approach of the end of the year, and the ongoing review of microfinance regulation by the Reserve Bank of India--appointed Malegam committee seem to have prompted people to sum up what happened in Andhra Pradesh and extract lessons. E.g.:
A 5 point call for change from Bindu Ananth and Nachiket Mor, the dissident voices for the view that "the AP crisis was brought on primarily by the Ordinance that restricted the ability of MFIs to collect on the loans they had made." (Sure it was the trigger, but I am not persuaded it was the main deep cause.)
Abhijit Banerjee's opinion piece warning that India could go the way of Brazil in 1980 unless it deemphasizes the populist politics that led, for example, to the attack on Andhra Pradesh's microcreditors.
The great attraction of loan write-offs just before elections is that unlike most government programmes, they get to the intended person, fast---the bank just takes your loan off its books and it is done. This is also why an embattled chief minister might want to tell his constituents that they no longer need to repay their 'unjust' microfinance loans. It might cross the politician's mind that next time there will be no loans to write off and that one day people may start to rue the fact that no one except the moneylender wants to lend to them, but right now they have a job to hold on to.
CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.
Recently CGD hosted the Second Annual Birdsall House Conference on Women, which focused on beyond-aid approaches for women’s economic empowerment, with particular emphasis on private sector engagement. CGD experts have written about how international organizations and national agencies should examine and correct gender biases in the design and delivery of their strategies for financial inclusion. But while public sector interventions are crucial for promoting women’s economic empowerment, the panelists pointed out that the private sector is in many ways better equipped to provide opportunities for women to grow their businesses, investments, and incomes. Here’s our takeaway.
On Monday, Grant Shapps, the UK's Minister of State at the Department for International Development, kicked off DFID’s Energy Africa campaign at an event hosted by the Shell Foundation designed to help his team figure out how the UK government can invest its political clout and an initial £30 million ($46 million) to tackle rural energy poverty in Africa. Given solar’s limitations and these risks, how can we make sure that Energy Africa fulfils Minister Shapps’s ambitious brief?