Review of microfinance interest rates aimed at supporting low-income communities

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Deputy Prime Minister Union Minister for Planning and Finance U Win Shein addresses the 2/2023 meeting of the Microfinance Business Supervisory Committee yesterday.

Microfinance Business Supervisory Committee needs to review interest rates practised by microfinance organizations on savings and loans to be able to improve the socioeconomic situations of the low-income population, said the committee chairman U Win Shein, Deputy Prime Minister and Union Minister for Planning and Finance, yesterday.
The chairman made the above remarks at the committee’s 2/2023 meeting held at the Ministry of Planning and Finance, Nay Pyi Taw on 18 August. The chairman said that the microfinance law was enacted in 2011 and the microfinance services have been allowed to facilitate rural and urban low-income populations and the MSME to be able to access financial services easily and affordably. The services have contributed to the reduction of poverty effectively and the service providers need to follow relevant laws, bylaws and procedures.
The Deputy Prime Minister also said under Registration of Associations Law 2014, the organizations that register as INGOs and NGOs and seek business licences are not allowed to operate financial businesses and the committee instructed the INGOs and NGOs to register as companies. But Pact Global Microfinance Fund (PGMF), an international non-governmental organization (INGO) failed to transform into a company in time and so the committee is carrying out liquidation processes according to the laws.
The secretary of the committee, the director-general of the Financial Regulatory Department under the Ministry of Planning and Finance presented in the meeting the measures relating to the current performances of microfinance services, the arrangement of INGOs and NGOs involved in financial businesses to register as companies, the ongoing liquidation process of PGMF, the proposal to adjust the current interest rate and measures relating to microfinance organization.
The challenges faced in conducting internal professional skills training courses, collaboration with development partners and operation of microfinance business were also presented in the meeting. The chairman, the vice-chairman and the committee members discuss the matters presented and gave necessary inputs before the chairman made conclusion remarks.
In Myanmar, 180 microfinance institutions – one INGO, one NGO and 55 foreign companies, 115 local companies and eight joint ventures – in 15 states and regions have been operating their business activities in 2,309 wards and 27,722 villages in 266 townships with 3.60 million active clients as of July 2023. – MNA/TH

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