Janarth Programme in India - 2
07 / 1994
The Janarth Credit Programme implemented by Action Aid in India concentrates on the ’credit’ aspect of a savings and credit programme and hence follows a system of non incentive based savings.
The belief behind the system is that the target population is aware of the need and importance of savings and therefore forced savings or incentive based savings is not necessary.
Savings are seen by the programme as the sacrifice of present consumption for the sake of future consumption and forced saving is considered undesirable as the families in the target areas do save on their own terms and priorities.
Therefore the credit scheme runs without being supplemented by savings of the target group. Janarth loans do not charge any interest as the programme believes interest would add an additional burden on the poor target group.
To ensure the successful repayment of loans, Janarth operates a strict rule on defaulters. When one person from a village defaults, no other member from the entire village is given new loans until arrears are repaid in full.This curbs the rate of default and also creates a collective pressure for repayment and the programme thus records a high rate of repayment - the average recovery being 80%.
The debate arising from this programme, as questioned by the programme officers of the project itself is, is it credit and savings or is it credit vs. savings?
The programme takes a high risk in not encouraging savings and cutting out interest on loans whereby the only way to sustain the credit programme is through repayments and grants.
Through continuous grants the credit scheme will not attain selfsufficiency. Thus the continuity of the scheme lies wholly on repayments. In a programme with a loan recovery system less effective than the Janarth system, the sustaining of the scheme might be threatened. But Janarth appears to successfully operate its credit scheme through strict default conditions.
SANJIVI, M., ACTION AID, ACTION AID INDIA, 1992/06 (INDIA)
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