10-pt carta at Microfinance Summit end

KATHMANDU: With a 10-point declaration, the second Microfinance Summit concluded here today.

In the closing session of the last day of the three-day summit, Centre for Microfinance president Dr Haridev Pant issued the 10-point declaration.

"In the first summit, we had targetted to bring three million people within the reach of microfinance sector by 2015," he said adding that by now 1.8 million Nepalis are involved in the sector. "We are pretty much on track," he added.

The declaration also urged various sectors to contribute to make this endeavour successful and ensure economic growth of the country in order to alleviate poverty.

The declaration also stated that in order to bring about national development, the microfinance sector should be given priority as a primary sector. Microfinance is the only tool to uplift the life standards of the poor. He also requested for a reduction in taxes as the tax on microfinance institutions is as high as that for commercial banks.

The summit also requested the Finance Ministry to support it in inclusive economic development. "Microfinance institutions have been facing problems due to conflict in the Tarai region," it said. Mountainous and hilly regions are yet at a low reach from the sector due to geographical reasons and high costs.

Former finance ministers Dr Ram Sharan Mahat and Bharat Mohan Adhikari also took part in the last session held today.

The summit also requested Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) for a microfinance policy that would allow the sector to mobilise deposite as it has been facing resource crunch. The sector will form a unified network to promote concerns via advocacy and deliberations.

Some 722 people involved with microfinance took part in the second edition of the Microfinance Summit, where 19 working papers were presented. The third Summit will be held in 2013.