Maharashtra Government Consults with Yunus. Finance, Planning and Forests Minister, Sudhir Mugantiwar (BJP) invited Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus on behalf of Government of Mahrashtra to help them design programmes for rural development and inclusive financing.
State Minister of Finance and Rural Development- Deepak Kesarkar also attended the meeting. an intensive discussion was carried out for four hours, which was participated by secretaries of ministries and heads of all government agencies involved in development issues, academics, representatives of national rural finance organization NABARD, etc.
The Finance Minister laid out the questions he had for discussion in order to prepare a strategy document to present as a part of his next budget statement and include relevant actions in the budget. He specifically wanted to know about social business, programme for turning unemployed rural and urban youth out of unemployment.
He and his team wanted to know why microcredit programmes and lending for small and medium scale enterprises in his state were not performing satisfactorily, and how to revitalize these programmes in line with Grameen Bank experience in Bangladesh.
Minister wanted Professor Yunus’s advice on how each of Yunus’s programme had been developed and implemented and about key success factors for their success in Bangladesh
The minister is interested in concrete outcomes – actual projects that can be implemented and therefore incorporated into the state budgeting process
His three main issues were how to ensure financial inclusion for the poorest of the poor through microfinance of Grameen Bank, spurring entrepreneurship in Maharashtra and reviving bankrupt MSMEs to create jobs.
Explaining social business yunus said that making money was happiness but making other people happy was a super happiness. Minister later said that he wanted to convert the state’s 1.7 million SHGs (self-help groups) into ‘Super Happiness groups’.
At the end of the meeting minister announced he would like to go to Bangladesh on a study visit between Dussehra and Diwali (between Oct 23 and Nov 9) together with experts and state officials to accompany him so that decisions about basic concept may be formulated while in Bangladesh.
He proposed to set up a three way relationship among Secretary Ministry of Finance, Yunus Social Business India’s Country Director in Mumbai, and Yunus Centre in Dhaka to work out the details of implementation strategy and continue the consultation.
Minister Sudhir Mugantiwar presented a number of gifts to Professor Yunus on behalf of his ministry and wished to remain in contact with him personally.