India: Sahulat to Facilitate 500 Interest-Free Cooperative Branches

Jul 2010
New Dehli, India, July, 12 2010 - The Sahulat Microfinance Society has decided to promote and facilitate 500 interest-free cooperative branches across the country by the end of 2016. The Society in its July 9 meeting held here also decided to establish four regional offices and training and research units.

The newly formed Delhi-based Sahulat will mobilize seed money for new cooperatives and branches. It will provide framework for networking of cooperatives at the national level.

The meeting was inaugurated by Prof. K. A. Siddique Hassan, Vice President of Jamaat-e-Islami and President of Sahulat Microfinance Society. Eminent social activist and chairman, Patna-based Al-Khair Charitable Trust, Arshad Ajmal gave detailed information about Sahulat Microfinance. Ajmal is Vice President of Sahulat.

The main emphasis of the meeting was to establish an interest free microfinance cooperative. Arshad Ajmal said that the interest-free financial institutions can be run under Cooperative Acts in India.

Elaborating the subject he said: Such cooperative does not need external funding. Cooperative means involvement of ever increasing stake-holders leading to mass base for interest-free financing alternative. Cooperative is legal, democratic, transparent, educative and accountable alternative. It will be an option for removing socio-economic disparities and to achieve justice and equity for educationally and financially backward sections of the public at large. The microfinance cooperative will have micro deposits in which there will be several account opening options like Amanat a/c, Sahyoga a/c, Daily Deposit a/c, Ear-marked a/c, Child a/c and Micro credits having options of demand loan, on fixed servicing charge basis, STBL, on profit-loss sharing basis, Cost-plus loan, on fixed service charge basis, Cost-plus loan, on Murabaha basis, business loan, only at main branch, growth fund, one or multiple units of Rs. 500/- can be purchased.

In the meeting the working model of Al-Khair Trust was discussed. Al-Khair is registered and functioning as interest-free cooperative since 2002. Al-Khair has more than 3000 members with branches in four cities/townships in Bihar.

Sahulat Microfinance was formed on March 30, 2010 in New Delhi after marathon discussion among 21 eminent scholars, economists, professionals and social activists drawn from across the country. Sahulat has been registered as a national-level NGO of non-political, non-profit nature. It will be a social service organisation with the set purpose of providing interest-free microfinance options for removing socio-economic disparities and to achieve justice and equity for educationally and financially backward sections of the public at large.

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