Micro- finance to spur growth, alleviate poverty
the promise offered by micro- finance sector where access to financial services facilitates the creation of enterprises, gives poor people access to working capital and provides insurance and saving facilities, the government has decided to set up a Micro Finance Investment Company with the financial support of Germany and Britain.
The company to be made operational by July this year, is being established in the face of growing potential customers for the microfinance which according to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar currently hover around twenty five million and the figure is likely to grow further in the years to come. This indeed is the first major step towards financial inclusion of the people of unserved and underserved areas ever since the inception of Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund. Microfinance indeed offers a long- term solution to meet national crises, besides alleviating poverty among the large rural and povertystricken segments, which have unfortunately remained ‘ unbanked’ or financially underserved for many decades now, even in this modern day and age. Micro- finance is not, however, limited to loans alone as it also includes saving opportunities, remittances and insurance facilities — all of which are critically important for the poor, especially during emergencies or crises where savings and insurance can provide that vital cushion for survival. Availability of funds to fuel the growth of micro- finance sector has remained a challenge and it is now expected that the establishment of this company will provide the necessary resources for the sector by crowding in and leveraging commercial sources of fund. There is also a dire need for the players to develop innovative products to raise deposits and develop delivery mechanisms to reach out to un- served markets. Provision of loans for small enterprises will go a long way in not only generating hundreds of thousands of new job opportunities and also contribute towards pushing up the growth rate which the government eyes to take to six to seven percent in the next two years.
INDIA has the habit of testing the patience of its strong neigh bors by flexing muscles, as it did with China in 1962 and faced the consequences. Recently, India invited Dolkun Isa, a leader of the World Uighur Congress, to a conference to be held on April 28 organised by the US- based Initiatives for China. Uighurs and other Chinese dissidents in exile were to attend the conference and discuss democratic transformation in China. However, Isa’s visa was withdrawn days after China lodged official protests through diplomatic channels, and reminded Delhi about the “red corner notice” on him. New Delhi was also reminded that Chinese will make it a major bilateral issue, sources said. In addition to demarche, the Chinese side had hinted that Beijing may raise the issue of India allowing a “terrorist” to come and attend a conference, at the Heart of Asia conference on Afghanistan.
Days after India issued a tourist visa to Chinese dissident Dolkun Isa and three others allowing them to visit the country for a conference in Dharamsala, New Delhi cancelled the visa, as per NDTV’s report. The decision came after Beijing protested the move, calling Isa a terrorist, who lives in Germany and was invited to the conference being organised by the US- based Initiatives for China. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying’s stated: “What I want to point out is that Dolkun is a terrorist in red notice of the Interpol and Chinese police. Bringing him to justice is due obli-