In India, Eleventh and Twelfth Plan introduced “Inclusive Growth” as a key parameter for economic sustainability, hence government have emphasized the link between improving access to finance and reducing poverty. Nineties saw the partial deregulation of interest rates and increased competition in the banking sector; whereas a new approach of provision of financial services through Non Banking Financial Company and Micro Financial Institutions along with Self Help Groups emerged has a major player in rural India for providing reliability of formal finance with the convenience and flexibility of informal finance, thereby, reducing poverty and promoting financial inclusion.
This paper attempts to study the rationale of microfinance as a measure for financial inclusion and evaluate the performance of secondary data compiled by Microfinance Institutions Network(MFIN) of 43 Non Banking Financial Company(NBFC) -Micro Finance Institutions(MFIs) and other key lenders under the Business Correspondents(BC), Small Finance Banks, NBFCs and non-profit MFIs through loan disbursement, portfolio, outreach and sustainability over a period of two decades.The present study provides ample evidence to the fact that financial inclusion through Micro Finance, laid the seeds for rural development because, the all round economic development depends upon rural development. Banking the ‘unbankable’ through Micro Finance is a valuable contribution to the development planning as it presents an alternative way to development.
Key Words - Financial Inclusion, Financial Sustainability, Unbankable, Self Help Group, Loan Portfolio.