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An Evaluation of the Degree of Financial Inclusion attained through

the SHG Bank Linkage Program (SBLP) a Unique Model of


Microfinance Based Poverty Intervention in India
Paul Jose P1*
Vasanthakumari P2

St. Thomas College, Thrissur, Kerala, India


2.

NSS College, Ottappalam, Kerala, India

Abstract
Microfinance is the developmental intervention devised after the failure of the directed credit
programs world over. In India microfinance was adapted into the unique program of linking Self
Help Groups of poor women to banks in the year 1992. It is visualized that the linkage of the poor
women through SHGs with the formal financial institutions will also promote financial inclusion
at the macro level, while providing a platform for encouraging entrepreneurial activities, and thus
eradicating poverty. It has been twenty two years since the SBLP was adopted at the national level,
and the program has witnessed exponential growth along the length and breadth of the country.
The objective of the present paper is to assess how far the program has been successful in
enhancing the level of financial inclusion in the economy. And, it also intends to devise a
framework for making successful assessment of the objective. The paper concludes, after fitting a
simple regression equation between two specially designed indices to measure the degree of
financial inclusion and the level of SBLP in each state in India, that only less than one quarter of
the financial inclusion level attained is explained by the program of SBLP and that any program to
enhance financial inclusion has necessarily to be context specific, especially in a country like India
which nests diverse interests and standards in every conceivable sphere of life.

Key Words: Financial Inclusion, Microfinance, SBLP, SHG

Alappatt Palatingal House, Sweet Bazar Road, Irinjalakuda, Kerala, India, PIN 680121. Tel:
9496347172. Fax: 91480 2825708. E mail: jose_paul09@yahoo.co.in

1. Introduction
The failure of the interventions based on
directed and subsidized credit aimed at dealing
with poverty led to the emergence of a novel
tool in the later decades of the last century, and
soon became the buzzword among the planners
Microfinance. It was in Bangladesh where
Microfinance was first tested on a large scale
under the leadership of the Nobel Laureate
Mohummad Unus. Soon the term Microfinance
became familiar throughout the world as a
trustworthy tool of poverty eradication
intervention in developing as well as developed
world. Microfinance is essentially a scheme of
granting small time loans coupled with other
financial services like micro savings and micro
insurance based on a hitherto unheard scheme
of group liability of the poor especially poor
women with the ultimate aim of enabling
them to financing profitable entrepreneurial
activities, which would eventually lead them
out of poverty. Group Liability, which is the
most important feature of microfinance,
involves the coming together of women from
homogeneous background into small groups
with the common aim of fetching loans for
supporting entrepreneurial activities from
financing institutions based on the non
collateral personal guarantee they provide on
behalf of one another. Probably the driving
force behind the implementation of the
program of microfinance on a phenomenal
scale supported by Government as well as
private agencies like NGOs throughout
developing world is the distinct understanding
that savings and credit accessibility to the poor
from formal sources can, as stated by Brar
(2004), strengthen the links between financial
inclusion, financial development, economic
growth, and thus poverty alleviation. It is well
established that financial exclusion results in
non accessibility and non availability of funds
from formal sources, which, in turn, will lead
to dependence of, especially the poor, on high
cost credit from informal sources such as
moneylenders. Such dependence aggravates the
livelihood circumstances of the poor and
drastically reduces the chances of getting out of

the quagmire of debt trap. It is against the


backdrop of this possibility that the emergence
of microfinance is to be viewed. The method of
granting microfinance soon found many
adaptations throughout low income and
marginalized communities in Asia, Africa and
America.
In India also an adaptation of microfinance
intervention emerged; the SHG model which
ensures access for the poor women to formal
financial institutions step by step. At first, a
group of 15 to 20 women from homogenous
background form themselves into Self Help
Groups self help in the sense that they come
together to find ways to solve their financial
and non financial problems which regularly
meet and accumulate savings. At the second
stage, they, preferably after a period of smooth
functioning for six months, become eligible for
formal linkage with a banking institution. Now
the groups can open savings accounts and
acquire the status of Savings Linkage. Finally,
SHGs become eligible for microloans, which
may run up to several multiples of the savings
of the group. The loans are granted on the non
collateral security generated by the mutual
personal guarantee extended by one another.
The SHGs, when granted microloans acquire
the status of Credit Linkage with the bank.
With the credit linkage, two objectives are met.
First, it helps bring the hitherto unbanked poor
within the coverage of financial inclusion and,
secondly, provides finance for bringing up
income generating activities and thus acquiring
a decent and respectable living for the poor.
Thus, the program of Linking SHGs with
Banking Institutions - more popularly known
as SHG Bank Linkage Program (here in after
referred to as SBLP) widen the net of
financial inclusion along with providing
opportunities for the poor to improve their
livelihood opportunities.
1.1

Progress of SBLP

SBLP, which commenced as a pilot program in


India in the year 1992 with a linkage of 255
SHGs, has grown exponentially and provided

opportunity of access to regular savings and


banking facilities to about 95.1 million
households through 7.32 million SHGs and
mobilized a savings of a whopping Rs.82.17
billion when the program completed 21 years
in 2013. It is estimated that on an average only
about 30% of the savings of the groups are
reflected in the savings accounts, for only the
balance after giving internal loans to members
comes to banks as deposits. Of the households
having access to banking facilities through the
program, about 57.87 million are provided with
credit facilities of a total of Rs.393.75 billion.
Thus goes the growth of the SBLP, which is
described as the largest microfinance program
in the world (National Bank for Agriculture
and Rural Development [NABARD], 2011).
Apart from the exponential growth of the
program, the other prominent feature displayed
during the course of the progress of SBLP is its
rather unusual concentration in the southern
region of the country in terms of all the
parameters of growth like the number of SHGs
savings linked, savings mobilized and loans
granted. For example, 55.46 percent of the total
savings linked SHGs and 61.85 percent of the
savings generated through SHGs in the year
2013 are from the southern region of the
country, while the claim of the region in the
credit linkage in terms of number of SHGs
credit linked and loans granted is 69.35 percent
and 84.35 respectively. And, another
interesting element of the progress of the
program is that the southern region claims the
highest amount of average loan per SHGs. In
2013, the average loan outstanding per SHG in
the southern region was Rs. 2.05 lakh whereas
the Central Region, which comes next, had
only Rs. 1.08 lakh as loans outstanding. And,
it is time that an enquiry into the extent to
which the program has contributed in achieving
its major objective financial inclusion
through the SBLP was undertaken.
2. Literature

Most of the literature on microfinance centers


on the outcomes of the impact studies
undertaken in various countries at the

participant level, which either argue for the


positive impacts on the participants like
reduction in: vulnerability (Zaman, 2000),
incidence of poverty (Khandker, 2001),
inequality (Beck, Demirguc-Kunt & Levine,
2004) and gender based household violence
(Schuler, Hashemi & Badal 1998) and increase
in: business turnover and employment
(Afrane, 2002), household income (Remenyi
& Quinones, 2000) economic and social status
(Schuler & Hashemi, 1994) and bargaining
power of the participants in various spheres of
life ( Cheston & Kuhn, 2002; Murray, Leonard
& Kondo, 2007) or the negative impacts like:
increase in debt burden (Rahman, 1999),
encouraging unequal social structures based on
hierarchies
and
inequalities
in
rural
communities rather than challenging them
(Wright, 2006), and benefiting the wealthier
rather than the poorer (Coleman, 2006;
Takahashi & Tsukada, 2010). Still very rare is
to find literature on the macro economic impact
of microfinance. Certain aspects like the impact
of macro economic growth on the performance
of Microfinance Institutions (Ahlin, Lin &
Maio, 2011), impact of the intervention on the
poverty reduction at the macro level (Imai,
Gaiha, Thappa & Anim, 2012) and the impact
on reduction of income equality and enhancing
the welfare, (Cuong, Bigman, Berg & Vu,
2007; Kai & Hamori, 2009) have been
examined from a macro economic perspective
in various countries. In India also studies are
mainly centered on the benefits or drawbacks
of microfinance program led by the SBLP. For
example, Puhazhendi and Satyasai (2000),
Todd (2001) and Chavan and Ramakumar
(2002), were all praise for the positive impacts
the program generated on the participants along
the length and breadth of the country, while
some other studies brought out the negative
aspects like the negative assortative matching
among the members (Aniket, 2006) and
perpetration of the conventional subordinate
gender related roles of women in the household
(Garikipati, 2008). Apart from the micro level
impact studies, the impact of SBLP in the
macro perspective in India is brought out
mainly through two types of outputs: one is the

regular reports on the working of the program


of microfinance in the country and the yearly
State of the Sector Reports; and the other
belongs to the attempts made by some to
underpin the highly skewed spread of SBLP on
the varying degrees of financial inclusion
attained by the states in the country, e.g.,
Sangwan (2008). However, both the attempts
suffered from methodological weakness in as
much as that the tools applied by them were
insufficient to capture the influence of SBLP
on the level of financial inclusion to the full
extent.
3. Significance and Objective
Yet, there has been no worthwhile attempt to
underpin the relationship between the
microfinance intervention SBLP and the level
of financial Inclusion in various states of India.
India, being the country with the largest
coverage of microfinance in the world, any
proven pattern of outcome generated here can
be the guiding light in future elsewhere. The
purpose of the present paper is to fill this gap,
and it is justified well considering the objective
of SBLP which falls within the broad
framework of microfinance intervention, i e., to
promote financial inclusion while providing
finance to undertake Income Generating
Activities
to
support
the
livelihood
requirements of the poor, especially women.
And, this paper also aims to provide a
framework for establishing the relation
between a microfinance program and the level
of financial inclusion in a country.
4. Framework for analysis
Constitutionally, India is a Union of 28 States
and 7 Union Territories, and it lies to the north
of the equator between 84' and 376' north
latitude and 687' and 9725' east longitude.
The system of governance is a federal form
with a Union Government for the whole of
Indian Union and 28 State Governments and 7
Union Territories (UTs) with separately
identified functional domains for the Union
Government and the other entities as per the

Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, which, in


addition, highlights the critical role envisaged
for State Governments in fulfilling the
aspirations set out in the Directive Principles of
State Policy. A Union Territory, except the two
of Pondicherry and the National Capital
Territory (NCT) of Delhi, is a special type of
administrative division which is ruled directly
by the Union Government. The UTs of
Pondicherry and NCT of Delhi have elected
legislatures headed by Chief Ministers.
Generally, it is the domain of the State
Governments to frame policies for the
eradication of poverty in the States, and various
State Governments have framed policies
founded in Microfinance with a view to rooting
out poverty. In the present analytical
framework the UTs have been excluded for two
reasons: it is found that considering the UTs at
par with the States will cause a bias in the
results of the analysis for the special status of
UTs has enabled them to acquire a very higher
status with regard several indicators selected
for the analysis like the number of bank
branches per 1000 square kilometers as
compared to the other States, which will play
exceptionally down the status of the other
reasonably well performing states also.
The framework for analysis involves two steps:
The first step involves the designing of two
indices for measuring the level of Financial
Inclusion (Index of Financial Inclusion IFI)
and the level of spread of SBLP (Index of
SBLP - ISBLP) in the states in India
respectively. The former is constructed to
measure the Financial Inclusion status of each
State of the country over a period of five years
from 2008 to 2012, whereas the latter is for
measuring the level of attainment in the SHG
Bank Linkage Program over the same period.
SHG Bank Linkage Program is viewed as a
vehicle for improving the financial access,
especially of the poor; therefore, it is rightly
presumed that there is great likelihood that
SBLP has enhanced the inclusionary levels of
the States. As the second step, a simple
regression line is conceived with the Index of
financial Inclusion as the dependent variable
and the Index of SBLP as the independent

variable so that the extent of financial inclusion


attained through SBLP can be determined with
the outcomes of the equation.
4.1
Step I: Design of the two Indices (IFI
and ISBLP)
The Index of Financial Inclusion (IFI) is the
result of an attempt to develop a
comprehensive measure of the status of
Financial Inclusion in the states of India. The
design involves the identification of
dimensions and indicators of financial
inclusion and devising of the tool of IFI.
Multitudes of dimensions and indicators
leading to measuring financial inclusion have
been identified for cross country studies
(World Bank 2014). It is not the dimensions,
but the identification and proper measurement
of indicators that poses problem in assessing
the level of financial inclusion. Generally, level
of financial inclusion is measured from the
perspective of two dimensions: Dimension of
Access to banking facilities and Dimension of
Usage of banking facilities (Classens 2006).
Dimension of Access is measured by the sub
dimensions such as Geographical Penetration
(GP), Demographic Penetration (DP) of
Banking Facilities and Banking Penetration
(BP). The Geographical Penetration (GP) of
banking facilities as measured by the number
of Bank Offices per 1000 Km2 is included in
the computation of the Index of Financial
Inclusion because measurement of the extent of
inclusion in an economy necessarily involves
the dimension of the number of banking
facilities per unit of geographical area.
Kempson, Whyley, Caskey and Collard (2004)
have proved that the greater the distance from a
bank branch the greater the chances for
financial exclusion. Demirguc- Kunt and
Klapper (2012) state that distance from a bank
is much greater a barrier in rural areas.
Kendall, Mylenko and Ponce (2010) also have
made use of bank branch density (both relative
to population and geographic area) as a
measure of the physical availability of the
facilities. Demographic Penetration (DP) is
justified because easy availability of the

banking services to the people is an important


measure of the level of financial inclusion. It is
gauged by number of bank offices (per 1000
population). Banking Penetration (BP) is
measured by the number of Deposit Accounts
per lakh of population, and it is necessary for
determining the level of acceptance of the
facilities among the people. The number of
Deposit Accounts includes all types of
accounts Fixed, Current and Savings because
possessing an account irrespective of the type
brings the people into contact with a banking
institution and can be broadly regarded as
included. Only deposit accounts and not credit
accounts have been considered for computing
the Banking Penetration because when a person
is sanctioned a loan, a savings account is
opened in his name and the loan is transferred
to the savings account which can be withdrawn
in convenient sums; and no one walks away
with the loan amount other than through an
account in his/her name. It means each and
every credit account will have an equal number
of Savings accounts; therefore, counting Credit
Accounts in the dimension of Banking
Penetration will result in double counting the
number of Accounts to the extent of Credit
Accounts. Banking Usage (BU) is measured by
the volume of credit and deposit as proportion
of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of
each state. The use of the Dimension Banking
Usage in the measurement of Financial
Inclusion is justified on account of the fact that
even in highly banked societies people with
bank accounts may not be actively making use of
the facilities offered (Kempson, Whyley,
Caskey and Collard 2004). This fact makes
measuring the actual use of the credit and deposit
facilities offered by banks necessary to study the
level of financial inclusion.
4.1.1 The Tool of IFI: The Index of Financial
Inclusion (IFI) employed in the present paper is
not the first attempt of its kind. It was Sarma
(2008), who first attempted to develop an Index
to measure the level of the Inclusionary trends
in an economy in the global context, drawing
heavily on the Human Development Index
(HDI) which was part of the intellectual effort

led by the late Pakistani economist Mahbub ul


Haq, who together with a group of scholars
including Amartya Sen, the famous Indian
Nobel laureate for Economics, incorporated the
ranking system according to HDI in the Human
Development Reports. Sarma incorporated the
modifications suggested by Nathan, Mishra and
Reddy (2008), who introduced an alternative
approach for computing HDI at the final stage.
Sarmas Index of Financial Inclusion is a
composite of three sub dimensions: Banking
Penetration (Dimension 1); Availability of
Banking Services (Dimension 2) and Usage
(Dimension 3), whereas the present one
involves one more dimension Demographic
Penetration. The other point of difference with
Sarmas IFI is that the present Index of
Financial Inclusion is the simple arithmetic
mean of the four selected sub dimensional
indices, whereas, Sarmas Index is computed
according to the modifications suggested by
Nathan et. al. (2008).

mD

minimum value of dimension D of states

And, in the second step, the composite Index of


the four sub dimensional indices is computed
in the following manner:

1 4

4 d DI ,
1

D ^GP , DP , BP , BU `
IFI of E th State

(2)

4.1.2 The tool of ISBLP

The second step in the analysis is the


formulation of an Index of SBLP (ISBLP). It is
well known that there exist wide variations
between Indian states as regards the extent of
spread of the program. As a result of which, the
financial inclusion level achieved by various
states will by all probability be different,
therefore, any technique to rate the spread of
The Index of Financial Inclusion (IFI) is finally SBLP must reflect certain distinctive
arrived at as follows in two steps. First, an characteristics of various Indian states like the
index is calculated for each of the four sub propensity of the members of SHGs to save
dimensions explained above by dividing the and invest (because SHGs are formed basically
difference between the actual value and the with the imperative of generating internal
minimum value of the indicator for each savings); the boldness to undertake more debts,
dimension by the range concerned. This step which necessarily reflects the low degree of
helps in holding the value of each dimension risk aversion (because the objective of SBLP is
between 0 and 1.
to enable the poor to undertake entrepreneurial
activities financed by the microcredit so that
For the 28 states in India, Individual they will get rid of poverty) and the spread of
Dimensions of Composite Index of Financial SHGs throughout the diverse states in terms of
Inclusion of E th state :
the absolute number of SHGs (because it is the
influence of state wise distribution of SHGs
ADE  mD
that is considered ultimately). Three distinct
d DE
(1) ,
sub dimensional indices have been identified to
M D  mD
reflect the above three imperatives: Index of
Propensity to Save and Invest proxied by
D { GP , DP , BP , BU } , and
Average Savings per Member of SHGs for
th
ADE actual value of dimension D of E state Each State (AS), Index of Entrepreneurial
Competence (EC) proxied by average
outstanding loan per SHG of each State during
M D Maximum value of dimension D of states , the period under study and Index of
Penetration of SBLP (PS) proxied by the
number of SHGs per thousand of population.

deposits and credit retrieved from Basic


Statistical Reports of RBI are available only up
to the end of 2012 at the time of drafting this
paper. It is stated earlier in this paper that the
Union Territories (UTs) have been excluded
from considering for the analysis. Yet, the
variables relating Pondicherry a UT which is
culturally, geographically and linguistically
closer to one of the major Southern States Tamil Nadu - is added back to the
corresponding figures of Tamil Nadu in the
ADE  mD
computation of indices and subsequent
(3)
d DE
M D  mD
analysis, because, for the first two years such
as 2008 and 2009, the secondary data figures of
SBLP for the state of Tamil Nadu are inclusive
D { AS , EC , PS } And
of the figures for the UT of Pondicherry. And,
ADE actual value of dimension D of E th state for the three subsequent years, the NABARD
started publishing separate details for
M D Maximum value of dimension D of states , Pondicherry. However, in order to maintain
uniformity of data for the three subsequent
and
years also, the data of Pondicherry are added
mD minimum value of dimension D of states back to Tamil Nadu for all the indices. Besides,
certain estimations regarding the number of
And the composite index of SBLP is arrived at members of SHGs have also made for lack of
details.
as follows:

And, the ISBLP is computed exactly in the


same manner as that of IFI in two stages. In the
first stage, an index is calculated for the each of
the three sub dimensions by dividing the
difference between the actual value and the
minimum value of the indicators selected for
each dimension by the range concerned. For
the 28 states in India, Individual Dimensions of
Composite Index of SBLP of E th state :

Index of SBLP of E th State

D ^AS , EC , PS `

1 3

3 d DE
1

(4)

5.
Data and reasons for the Limitations
in the Study
The study is solely based on the secondary data
retrieved from various sources like Registrar
General and Census Commissioner (2006) for
the details on the population of India for
various years, Planning Commission (2013) for
the Gross State Domestic Product at current
prices and various Reports of NABARD. The
study period is limited to five years from 2008
to 2012 on account two reasons: first, the data
regarding the various dimensions of SBLP
recognized for this paper are available from
NABARD only from 2008, and secondly, the
details of the number of accounts, amount of

6.

Results

Table no. 1 exhibits the details of the


computations of IFI and ISBLP. The pattern of
behavior of the two indices reveals certain
interesting points. Goa claims the highest Index
of Financial Inclusion, whereas the other states
including the states of the Southern Region
which are famous for the exorbitantly high
concentration of SBLP do not come near the
first ranking state of Goa in respect of IFI
ranking. These rather contradicting features of
the behavior of the two indices led to the
further enquiry into the dynamics of the
relation between SBLP and level of financial
inclusion attained by the participating states. A
correlation analysis between the IFI and the
ISBLP for the years under study revealed that
there exists a non - zero significant correlation,

Table No. 1 Showing IFI and ISBLP


IFI

SBLP

2009

2010

2011

2012

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Northern Region
Haryana
Himachal Pradesh
Jammu & Kashmir
Punjab
Rajasthan
North Eastern Region
Arunachal Pradesh
Assam
Manipur
Meghalaya
Mizoram
Nagaland
Tripura
Eastern Region
Bihar
Jharkand
Orissa
Sikkim
West Bengal
Central Region
Chatisgarh
Madhya Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
Uttarakhand
Western Region
Goa
Gujarat
Maharashtra
Southern Region
Andhra Pradesh
Karnataka
Kerala
Tamil Nadu & Pondicherry

2008

State

0.29
0.30
0.22
0.45
0.14

0.28
0.29
0.19
0.43
0.12

0.30
0.30
0.20
0.45
0.12

0.29
0.26
0.16
0.43
0.10

0.33
0.32
0.21
0.48
0.11

0.37
0.17
0.36
0.27
0.11

0.37
0.28
0.24
0.22
0.22

0.53
0.26
0.48
0.25
0.19

0.50
0.30
0.12
0.22
0.16

0.34
0.32
0.19
0.30
0.20

0.12
0.13
0.03
0.14
0.13
0.04
0.14

0.10
0.10
0.01
0.12
0.11
0.02
0.13

0.10
0.11
0.01
0.13
0.12
0.02
0.14

0.08
0.10
0.01
0.11
0.09
0.04
0.13

0.09
0.11
0.01
0.14
0.12
0.03
0.15

0.10
0.13
0.10
0.17
0.31
0.18
0.19

0.20
0.22
0.08
0.17
0.30
0.42
0.34

0.15
0.29
0.16
0.17
0.46
0.14
0.41

0.12
0.21
0.40
0.13
0.14
0.16
0.34

0.24
0.26
0.10
0.16
0.65
0.23
0.53

0.15
0.15
0.14
0.23
0.27

0.15
0.15
0.14
0.23
0.27

0.15
0.15
0.15
0.19
0.28

0.14
0.14
0.14
0.17
0.27

0.14
0.16
0.17
0.20
0.29

0.17
0.08
0.25
0.21
0.16

0.23
0.20
0.39
0.46
0.49

0.23
0.19
0.38
0.14
0.22

0.11
0.26
0.34
0.17
0.29

0.17
0.23
0.42
0.21
0.26

0.07
0.34
0.21
0.31

0.10
0.09
0.19
0.27

0.11
0.11
0.20
0.25

0.10
0.10
0.19
0.22

0.12
0.12
0.21
0.28

0.20
0.13
0.19
0.36

0.22
0.20
0.26
0.44

0.19
0.21
0.24
0.38

0.18
0.19
0.22
0.26

0.21
0.26
0.33
0.48

0.85 0.84 0.85 0.84 0.86 0.48 0.35 0.59 0.26 0.39
0.22 0.20 0.21 0.18 0.21 0.21 0.20 0.28 0.15 0.17
0.42 0.41 0.41 0.40 0.43 0.15 0.35 0.21 0.24 0.34
0.25
0.35
0.52
0.35

0.24
0.34
0.50
0.35

therefore, it is decided to run the regression


between IFI (dependent variable) and ISBLB

0.26
0.36
0.51
0.36

0.24
0.32
0.49
0.33

0.28
0.21
0.43
0.39

0.44
0.40
0.26
0.60

0.63
0.42
0.50
0.73

0.60
0.41
0.36
0.50

0.53
0.46
0.47
0.43

0.70
0.69
0.62
0.50

(Independent Variable). The regression results


are given in table no.2.

Table No. 2. showing year wise Regression


Equations
year
2008

IFI

Regression Line
0.08  0698 SBLP

R P Value
0.28 0.003

2009 IFI

.0799  0.453SBLP

0.15

0.039

2010 IFI

.0398  0.633SBLP

0.27

0.004

2011 IFI

.0956  0.466 SBLP

0.12

0.072

2012 IFI

.0607  0.575SBLP

0.23

0.010

7. Conclusion and Discussion


The table no.2 shows that, except for 2008 and
2010, only less than a quarter of the financial
inclusion level attained is explained by the
program of SBLP. The year 2011 has
witnessed an exceptionally low contribution of
SBLP towards financial inclusion, probably
because of the microfinance crisis in the year
2010 which had serious repercussions in India
also. Microfinance program is recognized as a
medium of poverty reduction by first bringing
the poor under the net of financial inclusion. It
is only logical to assume that a program like
SBLP will massively contribute to enhancing
financial inclusion in the country. But, the
results here show that microfinance program
promoted by SBLP in a country like India
cannot be the only solution for financial
inclusion related issues; rather the results here
testify to that any program to enhance financial
inclusion has necessarily to be context specific.
Depending solely upon a single program like
SBLP need not deliver the intended results.
And, in a country like India, where a vast
majority is outside the net of financial
inclusion, coupling other programs with
microfinance interventions only will bring out
desired level of total inclusion.
Acknowledgements: The authors thankfully
remember the suggestions made by Dr. Antony
P. L who playfully hold out that social science
people seldom understand Math. The first

author, under no circumstances, will share the


errors
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