Nabard aid for rating micro financial institutions

Written by Sanjay Jog | Mumbai | Updated: Dec 1 2009, 05:05am hrs
State-run National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (Nabard) has extended a scheme for financial assistance to commercial banks, regional rural banks (RRBs) and cooperative banks for rating of micro finance institutions (MFIs) upto March 31, 2010. The basic purposes of the scheme are to facilitate the banks to identify appropriate MFIs for providing funds and to encourage proper standards, systems and safeguards, efficiency and transparency in MFIs. The scheme, which was supposed to come to an end on Monday has also been revised in view of encouraging responses from banks and also from MFIs.

Nabard sources told FE, "Banks can avail the services of credit rating agencies including Crisil, M-CRIL, ICRA, CARE and Planet Finance or any other agency approved by Nabard from time to time, for rating of MFIs. The banks can avail of 100% reimbursement of expenses towards cost of rating of MFIs upto Rs 3 lakh by way of grant only for first rating of MFI. MFIs with the minimum loan outstanding of Rs 50 lakh and maximum loan outstanding of Rs 10 crore would be eligible for support under the scheme. The grant assistance for meeting the cost of rating of MFIs would be only for professional fee of the rating agency subject to a ceiling of Rs 3 lakh. Banks/MFIs may furnish a copy of the rating report to Nabard and it will have the right to publish the information, if it desires to do so."

However, sources said Nabard may insist on rating, at least, once in two years with the provision of 50% financial support for second rating subject to improved performance of the MFI during our support period. The intention of such additional assistance is to incentivise better performance & at the same time to evaluate the impact of the Nabard's Capital assistance/Revolving Fund Assistance on the performance of the MFI.

The micro finance institutions may be encouraged to bring about improvement in their systems, procedures, standards of internal checks, governance, transparency, business & social obligations through rating exercise.