Measuring Access of Microfinance on Poverty in India: Towards a Comprehensive Index

The outreach of micro-finance programme is considered to be a means enhance the economic well-being among the member means to enhance households through poverty alleviation. A wide cross-country variation in the outreach of micro-finance programme to the poor households is observed in the world. Despite the significant growth of micro-finance institutions and its active borrowers, the penetration of micro-finance lending services to the poor households in India is observed to be limited. In addition, there is a wide inter-state disparity in the achievement of micro-finance outreach in India especially among the poor households. A composite index has been constructed using the penetration, availability and usage indicators of micro-finance outreach to examine the interstate variations in the level of its achievement. Subsequently, attempt has been made to analyse the role of micro-finance in alleviating poverty across the states of India. The result shows that out of 27 states and Union Territories, only in seven states (Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, and Karnataka) outreach of micro-finance programme has made a significant impact on the reduction of poverty.