Towards a Public Policy on Microfinance in Bangladesh

Towards a Public policyInstitute of Microfinance (InM) and Policy Research Institute (PRI) jointly organised a seminar entitled “Towards a Public Policy on Microfinance in Bangladesh” at the Conference Room of PRI, Dhaka on 5 April 2012.

The seminar was aimed at addressing and discussing the necessity of a specific public policy particularly for microfinance along with regulations and systems to promote a sound and responsive microfinance sector for poverty reduction and development in Bangladesh.

Dr. M. Amanullah (MAK) Khan, International Team Leader, PROSPER-PCU, DFID was the keynote speaker of the seminar, and he presented a paper on the abovementioned topic. Dr. Atiur Rahman, Governor, Bangladesh Bank graced the event as the Chief Guest. Vice Chairman of PRI Dr. Sadiq Ahmed moderated the seminar.

In the presentation, Dr. Khan said, microfinance must be recognised as a vital part of the financial system, dedicated to meet the financial needs of poor clients in a responsive manner, and it is important to devise a national policy for microfinance for financial inclusion, a policy that is holistic, futuristic and yet practical.

Speaking as the Chief Guest, Dr. Atiur Rahman said, macroeconomic policy may seem miles away from microfinance but they are in fact interlinked, so it required to maintain a stable macro environment and a regulatory environment which safeguards people's money while ensuring that microfinance institutions have the flexibility to develop financial products to suit poor people's needs.

Towards a Public policy01Dr. Hassan Zaman, Senior Economic Advisor to the Governor of Bangladesh Bank, Dr. Syed M. Hashemi, Director, BRAC Development Institute (BDI), and Professor M. A. Baqui Khalily, Department of Finance, University of Dhaka and Team Leader, Access to Financial Services Project, InM, were the distinguished discussants at the event.

The discussants, along with other dignitaries from renowned MFIs and research organisations, emphasised that the government should make a visionary public policy on microfinance to clear its position as an effective financial tool and help remove confusion over its implications.

In his speech of the Vote of Thanks, Dr. Md. Mosleh Uddin Sadeque, Executive Director, InM thanked Dr. Zaidi Sattar, Chairman, PRI and Dr. Khan for organising such a thought-provoking and significant seminar. He also emphasised on initiating dialogue on a possible public policy on microfinance for consolidation and sustainability of the sector.

The Institute for Inclusive Finance and Development (InM) is registered as an independent non-profit institution under the Societies Registration Act 1860.
The Institute works for developing the overall capacity of the financial sector and strengthening the links between the financial and real sectors through undertaking research, training, education, knowledge management and other programmes in priority areas including inclusive finance, microfinance, poverty and development.

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