Microfinance institutions (MFIs) cannot charge interest rate of more than 26 per cent, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said today .
"Charging more than 26 per cent is exploitation. If you are not exploiting a person, then it is a reasonable rate. So, the RBI has fixed the rate at 26 per cent," Deputy Governor of RBI K C Chakrabarty said here.
"Microfinance institutions are basically relevant because the banking system in the country is inefficient. The MFIs will be relevant for the next 10 to 20 years," he said at a seminar on MFIs organised by Indian Chamber of Commerce here.
Chakrabarty advised MFIs not to scale up their operations without understanding their limitations.
He said Microfinance institutions should extend loans for income generating activities and not for consumption purposes.
They should also focus on the credit-worthiness of borrowers, he said.
The RBI official also ruled out raising of margin cap (the difference between income earned by Microfinance institutions and cost of borrowings) from 10 per cent to 12 per cent.
He said inefficient MFIs should not be in the system as they had the potential to bring in a financial crisis.