The total disbursement by all lenders in the microfinance sector fell sharply to ₹6,235 crore in the first quarter ended June, from ₹54,127 crore a year earlier, due to the impact of the pandemic, industry body Sa-Dhan said.

However, the gross loan portfolio (GLP) of all microlenders grew 19% to ₹2,24,595, driven mainly by disbursements of banks and SFBs. The GLP of all lenders as on March 31, 2020, was ₹2,30,165 crore.

“In spite of the unprecedented scenario due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sector has seen a 19% year-on-year growth in portfolio. The sector is facing challenges in accessing funds from banks, especially the small MFIs. We expect the situation to improve in the coming months [given] initiatives of the RBI and government,” P. Satish, ED, Sa-Dhan, said.

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