The gross loan portfolio of microfinance institutions (MFIs) grew 23 per cent in 2012-13, according to a report released by the Micro Finance Institutions Network (MFIN). Of this, non-Andhra Pradesh micro credit firms witnessed a growth of 39 per cent compared with just 7 per cent increase achieved by AP-based MFIs, said the report. Alok Prasad, chief executive officer of MFIN, said, "At pan-India level, MFIs witnessed a growth of 23 per cent, a strong bounce back from last year when growth had slumped to a negative 14 per cent." These firms registered a 21 per cent increase in client base outside Andhra Pradesh. The study was based on the data collected from 41 non-banking finance companies- microfinance institutions (NBFC-MFI), who are members of MFIN and represent 85 per cent of the microfinance business in the country, excluding self-help groups (SHGs). Hinting at a better growth possibility in the next financial year, Prasad said the role played by NBFC-MFIs in promoting financial inclusion could be strengthened if the Microfinance Bill gets enacted as it would then provide an overarching regulatory framework for the sector. During the last financial year, there was a significant increase in lending in states such as West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Bihar, Assam and Uttar Pradesh, the release said.
Tamil Nadu has the largest number of MFIs operating in the state followed by Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra accounted for 64 per cent of the gross loan portfolio, it said. The MFIN members received a total debt funding of Rs 10,200 crore in the last fiscal, which is 79 per cent higher compared with the debt flows to the companies last year.