AP govt forms four committees for implementing ordinance on MFIs

Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh government on Thursday constituted four working committees for effective implementation of an ordinance issued by it to regulate the functioning of microfinance institutions (MFIs), reports PTI.

"It was noticed that there are many queries from both MFIs and the district-level Registering Authorities (RA) about interpretation of provisions of the ordinance. Besides, there are many writ petitions filed before the high court challenging various provisions of the ordinance and the rules," a GO issued by the rural development department said.

"The government, after considering the above, with a view to respond quickly to the queries from the field on implementation of the MFI ordinance, to improve the credit flows to self-help groups (SHGs) and to put in place the IT system for efficient implementation of the ordinance, hereby constitute the following working committees with immediate effect," it said.

The committees, comprising senior officials, constituted by the government are: Implementation committee, legal committee, capacity building committee and IT committee.

The implementation committee will be responsible for receiving and clarifying queries from the RAs on a day-to-day basis, for reviewing the complaints received from the public about the MFI irregularities and ensure swift action and to guide all other committees among other responsibilities.

The legal committee would monitor the cases in the high court and Supreme Court and assist the counsel fighting the cases. The capacity building committee would prepare material for educating the SHG members about the provisions of the ordinance, the GO said.

The IT committee's responsibility is to create and maintain the website for MFIs integrating the databases of SHG bank linkage, ration cards and borrowers data being submitted by MFIs so as to arrive at an integrated database of rural and urban indebtedness, it said.

All committees would submit daily reports to CEO of Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) and principal secretary of rural development on the work done and the work yet to be done in fulfilment of the mandate given to them.

The state government had issued an ordinance on 15th October to rein in the MFIs whose coercive methods allegedly led to suicides of a number of people in the state.

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Friday’s Market Preview: Soft-to-flat opening likely

Global cues point out to a soft-to-flat opening for the Indian market today. The US market ended almost unchanged in overnight trade as investors treaded cautiously ahead of the Federal Reserve’s “quantitative  easing,” to be announced next week. Asian markets were also trading weak on poor economic data from across the region.

The Indian market opened on a firm note on Thursday taking cues from its Asian counterparts, which were trading with marginal gains in early deals. Nervousness on the expiry day of the October futures and options (F&O) contract led the market into the negative terrain for a short while after which the indices bounced back into the green on news that food inflation for the week ended 16th October had eased. The market stayed in a narrow range near the neutral line but got a boost in the noon session as the European markets opened higher. A sudden bout of selling in the last half-hour saw the indices tumbling into the red once again touching the day's lows. However, a marginal reversal resulted in the market settling off the day's low, but in the red for the third day in a row. The Sensex ended 64.33 points (0.32%) down at 19,941. The Nifty stood at 5,987, a decline of 24.95 points (0.41%) over its previous close.

The US markets closed almost unchanged on Thursday as investors remained jittery ahead of the Fed’s “quantitative easing,” due to be announced next week. The markets ended lower despite a sudden decline in initial jobless claims. Initial jobless claims fell by 21,000, to 434,000, last week, the Labor Department said.

The Dow shed 12.33 points (0.11%) to 11,114. The S&P 500 added 1.33 points (0.11%) to 1,183. The Nasdaq gained 4.11 points (0.16%) to 2,507.

Markets in Asia were weak in early trade on poor economic data from across the region. Chinese stocks fell for the fourth straight day, trimming the best monthly gain in more than a year, on speculations that the government will enhance measures to curb inflation and property prices. Japanese industrial output fell 1.9% in September from August and core consumer prices declined 1.1% from a year earlier after a 1% drop in August, government reports showed.

The Shanghai Composite was down 0.51%, The Hang Seng was down 0.59%, Nikkei 225 tumbled 1.70%, Jakarta Composite declined 0.12%, Seoul Composite tanked 0.97% and Taiwan Weighted lost 0.35%. On the other hand, KLSE Composite added 0.01% and Straits Times surged 0.05% in early trade.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may go for another round of hiking short-term lending and borrowing rates by 25 basis points each, next week on concerns of high inflation, a Ficci survey said.

Most economists, however feel that given the tight liquidity situation, the central bank would refrain from raising cash reserve ratio (CRR), which is a portion of deposits that banks keep with RBI in cash

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