Accessibility navigation

Informal finance and rural finance policy in India: historical and contemporary perspectives

Jones, J.H.M. (2008) Informal finance and rural finance policy in India: historical and contemporary perspectives. Contemporary South Asia, 16 (3). pp. 269-285. ISSN 0958-4935

Full text not archived in this repository.

It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/09584930802271315


From the 1950s up to the early 1990s the All-India data show an ever-declining share of informal credit in the total outstanding debt of rural households. Contemporaneous micro-level studies, using more qualitative research methodologies, provide evidence that questions the strength of this trend, and more recent All-India credit surveys show, first, a levelling, and then a rise, in the share of rural informal credit in 1990/91 and 2000/01, respectively. By reference to findings of a study of village moneylenders in Rajasthan, the paper notes lessons to be drawn. First, informal financial agents have not disappeared from the rural financial landscape in India. Second, formal-sector financial institutions can learn much about rural financial service needs from the financial products and processes of their informal counterparts. Third, a national survey of informal agents, similar to that of the 1921 Census survey of indigenous bankers and moneylenders, would provide valuable pointers towards policy options for the sector. A recent Reserve Bank of India Report on Moneylender Legislation not only explores incentive mechanisms to better ensure fair practice, but also proposes provision for a new category of loan providers that would explicitly link the rural informal and formal financial sectors.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
ID Code:8731

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation