Microfinance disbursements rose 80% in Q3FY21

Showing signs of growth in economic activities, disbursements of microfinance loans in the October-December quarter increased by 80 per cent on a quarter-on-quarter basis at Rs 56,090 crore, showed a report by CRIF High Mark.

The value of disbursements, however, was lower by 11.5 per cent compared to the corresponding quarter of the last fiscal.

“In terms of volume, disbursements in Q3 FY 2020-21 almost doubled, compared to the previous quarter standing at 175 lakh and only 4 per cent lower than the same quarter previous year,” it said.

The share of regional distribution of disbursements remained the same as the previous quarter, with the eastern region dominating with 35.5 per cent, followed by the southern region at 23.4 per cent.

The gross loan portfolio (GLP) of the microfinance sector witnessed a quarterly growth of 1.18 per cent to reach Rs 2.26 lakh crore as of December 2020 while the average ticket size of microfinance loans stood at Rs 34,900. This saw a marginal growth of 0.6 per cent over the previous quarter whereas year-on-year increase stood at nearly 5 per cent.

The share of disbursements of loans of maximum worth of Rs 10,000 increased by 11 per cent over the previous quarter with nearly 24 per cent increase for banks alone.

“This increase is largely attributable to loan restructuring offered by lenders and new loans of small ticket size extended to eligible borrowers, in the form of guaranteed emergency credit lines, to tide over the pandemic induced stress,” said the CRIF report.

It noted that the microfinance sector in India has traversed a turbulent journey in this financial year. After witnessing degrowth in the gross loan portfolio in the consecutive first two quarters, the sector experienced green shoots of recovery in the third quarter, with a growth in GLP albeit at only 1.18 per cent over the previous quarter.

As markets opened up and operations resumed in Q2 FY 2020-21, disbursements have picked up pace. Digitalisation has gained recognition with more lenders in the customer onboarding stage.