The study is an epitome of the mind-boggling flurry of literature on the subject of microfinance. But, it has gone far beyond the review of literature on the concept, country models and history of microfinance movement in India; it has provided a thematic work on the factual profiles of different microcredit programmes prevalent in the country and their progress, The book contains a very up-to-date review of the regulatory measures and their nuances and a detailed review of the evaluation and impact studies. The book also dwells on the limitations of the mFI movement to satisfy the credit needs of the vast informal sector enterprises which also seem to get generally neglected by the formal financial institutions. This has led the study to a review of the new initiatives which the authorities have taken under the broad theme of `financial inclusion.' Keeping the broader objective of distributional goals embedded in the microfinance movement, the book attempts an assessment of the wider challenges faced by the financial system, and provides a dossier of suggestions for reaching out to the small and informal sectors on a more effective scale. As for the mFI movement itself, apart from bringing out it potentialities and also critiquing it, the study presents a set of suggestions for strengthening and expanding its role.
Dr. S. L. Shetty's interests in the discipline of Economics have been wide-ranging, with macroeconomics and the financial sector issues being the core. He served the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for 24 years and retired in 1993 as Chief of its research department. On leaving the RBI, he became the Founder Director of EPW Research Foundation (EPWRF) in which capacity he continued for 16 years. While in the RBI, he spent 4 years in a foreign central bank on an IMF assignment.In academic circles, Dr. Shetty is known for his seminal work titled Structural Retrogression in the Indian Economy since the Mid-Sixties (NIBM, 1978) and a series of other contributions through the columns of the EPW. They have ranged from monetary and fiscal policies to money market studies and development issues in the financial sector.