The microcredit regulator has started awarding permanent licences to 198 microfinanciers who got conditional permission to run operations for three years.
The Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA) began the permanent licensing process before the three- year timeframe as many of them showed operational competence.
Between July 2016 and November 2015, a total of 206 non-government organisations (NGOs) secured conditional licences for three years to run microcredit operations in 37 districts, where incidence of poverty is high.
Eight licences were cancelled in different times last year and this year for not complying with the rules and regulations.
"We've found that most of them (NGOs) fulfilled criteria of getting permanent licences, so we've decided to award licence ahead of the licensing timeframe," MRA Director Shazzad Hossoin told The Financial Express.
Two major conditions given to them by
The Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA) gave two major conditions while issuing conditional licences : One was Tk 5.0 million outstanding small loans and another was 1,000 borrowers within this licencing timeframe.
The MRA has decided to award licences to two NGOs next week, one of them from Rangpur and another from Sirajganj.
The microfinance regulator invited applications on November 16, 2011 from interested organisations in 37 relatively less-developed districts for running microcredit operations.
The less-developed districts selected are Barisal, Jamalpur, Khagrachhari, Bhola, Mymensingh, Barguna, Khulna, Sherpur, Bagerhat, Jhalakathi, Habiganj, Bandarban, Sirajganj, Sunamganj, Satkhira, Patuakhali, Rangamati, Lalmonirhat, Jessore, Kurigram, Brahmanbaria, Rangpur, Chuadanga, Nilphamari, Natore, Cox's Bazar, Gopalganj, Faridpur, Netrakona, Comilla, Kishoreganj, Rajbari, Bogra, Noakhali, Chapainawabganj, Madaripur and Thakurgaon.
The MRA has marked out the areas to avoid overlapping of small lending-borrowing services and also to help meet the government goal of poverty reduction.
In 2013, the microcredit regulator made 'primary selection' of 700 NGOs for running microfinance operations from among 1,212 interested NGO-MFIs.
NGOs registered under any of the relevant laws, namely, the Societies Registration Act, the Trust Act 1882, the Voluntary Social Welfare Agencies (Registration and Control) Ordinance 1961 and the Company Act 1994 were eligible for applying.
Mr Hossoin said 198 NGOs passed a rigorous scrutiny during the second-phase selection.
He expressed the hope that most of them will get licence within a short period of time.
According to the MRA, there are 686 MFIs in the country now. With the addition of 198, the number of MFIs will reach 884.