Both the amount of loan disbursed by micro-finance institutions (MFIs) and the number of microcredit beneficiaries have risen significantly across the country.
Some 746 MFIs have been registered with Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA)as of December, 2020.
Though the rate of interest on microloan is higher than that of other credits, its disbursement by registered microfinance institutions increased to Tk 1403.17 billion at the end of June 2019 from Tk 1201.91 billion at the end of June 2018.
The total number of loan recipients also rose to 25.76 million in June 2019 from 25.40million in June 2018, according to the latest data released by the microcredit regulator.
The data also showed that the total number of members of MFIs jumped to 32.37 million at the end of June 2019 from 31.22 million a year back.
The number of MFI branches increased to 18,977 as of June 2019 from 18,196 a year earlier. On the other hand, the number of MFI employees also rose to 162,175 in June 2019 from 153,919 in June 2018.
The number of microcredit beneficiaries has risen mainly due to government's good policy for the sector, a senior executive of the MRA said.
Besides, easy access to small credit than that of the country's commercial banks has led to a gradual rise in the number of microcredit beneficiaries, he mentioned.
The borrowers are becoming less dependent on banks as the MFIs are expanding their presence across the country, especially in rural areas, helping the government in enhancing financial inclusion by bringing unbanked people under its coverage, he added.
He, however, said many poor families depend on MFIs for funds they require for continuing with their small business or for other purposes in rural areas.
Most of the clients especially women start their business by taking loans from MFIs and not from other sources, he said, adding that now the clients are able to boost their incomes and can provide financial help to their families.
Currently, a good number of small entrepreneurs are making different products and delivering services with financing by MFIs. These products are exported after meeting local demand, another source said.