The growth of micro financing sector in the country had helped the common man including small farmers and traders to have easy access to loans, defence minister A K Antony said on Saturday.
The UPA government's economic policies had encouraged non-banking micro-financing companies run by NGOs across the country, Antony said, inaugurating 'Janasree Microfin Limited' formed under the pro-Congress Janasree Sustainable Development Mission.
Antony also launched the fourth anniversary celebrations of the 'Janasree' mission.
Antony said that the success of 'Janasree' in the last four years as a peoples' movement with more than 50,000 members had proved the capability of Congress workers.
He cautioned the promoters of 'Microfin' to ensure that the firm did not give any room for complaints as it was dealing with money. "The company should exercise better discipline than banks," he said.
Antony recalled that it was late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who brought banks closer to common people through nationalisation. Till then, only big industrialists and businessmen had access to loans from banks.
Micro-financing through which thousands of crores were being distributed as loans was the second phase of bank nationalisation, he said.
Antony said that the state government-run 'Kudumbasree' and 'Janasree' could function together in Kerala with a healthy competition between them. "There is space in the state for all NGOs," he said.
M M Hassan, chairman of 'Janasree,' Opposition Leader Oommen Chandy and KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala also spoke.