Gram Bikash Kendra began microfinance operations in 2004 with its head office in Kolkata. It has touched the lives of many thousands of poor underprivileged & backward section of our society by providing them credit for income generating activities & helping them to become economically self sufficient. It has also been instrumental in sensitizing women about empowerment issues and bringing about a qualitative change in their attitude towards life. The achievements of GBK can be attributed to a handful of people who believed, with a lot of conviction, that the organization could make an improvement in the lives of the poor people. Their passion and dedication, which led to the formation of GBK , is the driving force which contributed to the evolution that it has been able to make so far. Members of the Board have added a distinct flavor to the overall composition of the Governance structure. Majority of these members are involved in microfinance activities directly. The ones who are not, have made their presence felt because of their experience, maturity and leadership quality. They are proud of the fact that under their able stewardship, the organization has passed out of various hardships and challenges in flying colours.
GBK has its own wide-ranging documents which provide ethical path with guiding principles that govern its admirable workings. It implements and will implement all its programs with due respect towards the Constitution of India and always abiding by the laws of the land. It has devised the under mentioned programs to implement its own set of aims and objectives,
a. Bringing the economically deprived section of the society into the mainstream of commercial activities in order to strengthen the country’s economic programs.
b. Create a platform for providing a progressive, permanent and member-centric strong micro credit program in order to provide comprehensive economic services to the target people.
Employees of SMGBK maintain a high standard of conduct and work performance to ensure and uphold the reputation and goodwill of the organization with its borrowers and other associates. Good personal conduct contributes to a healthy work environment for all.
Employees of all SMGBK :
- observe all policies and procedures
- treat colleagues with courtesy and respect
- treat the borrowers and poor people in a professional yet friendly manner at all times
- follow statutory guidelines meticulously
Feedback / Grievance Redressal Mechanism : :
- Steps should be taken to ensure that proper evaluation is done on complaints lodged and issues addressed. A mechanism will be in place to take care of complaints raised.
- Members should be made aware about formal and informal process for their feedback, suggestions and complaints.
- An official should be designated to handle complaints , counsel the complainant and coordinate with concerned officials for speedy disposal of these complaints. A dedicated contact number should be made available for the members to get in touch with the designated official.
- A system should be in place to ensure that complaints are promptly disposed off and rectification is made at the earliest.
- There may be stray cases where complainants are not satisfied with the given solution. In such an event, they are free to take up the issue with Ethics & Grievance Redressal Committee.
- A complainant, whose grievance stands addressed, will be contacted within 7 days of disposal for ascertaining her satisfaction or otherwise.
Create Awareness : :
Awareness about education
- It is necessary to create awareness about importance of education of children among GBK members in working areas of the organization.
- In case of need, permission may be sought from head office for providing scholarships and books to deserving meritorious but poor students.
- The organization will also look into the issue of arranging for tutors for students who are unable to cope with regular school work.
Awareness about health care
- It is necessary for GBK to create awareness about health issues among all its members.
- Members should be counseled about keeping their surroundings, their attires, their beddings and their children neat and clean.
- Counseling should also be done among community members for them to start using covered and sanitary toilets.
- Members should be counseled on the advantages of using safe drinking water by boiling and cooling or using purifier like alum, etc. for purifying the same.
Awareness about environment
- Members should be advised about keeping their environment clean.
- They should also be counseled about advantages of planting more trees.
Disaster Management : :
In the unfortunate event of natural disaster occurring in program areas of the
- organization, field employees are required to physically visit these areas and enquire about the welfare of members.
- It is required to arrange for distribution of relief materials in disaster affected areas after getting approval from the head office.
- Repayment of installments from disaster affected members will not be collected till such time that normalcy is restored in their lives.
- It is necessary to stand besides affected people and offer solace and confidence.
Rendering services to the helpless : :
It is the moral responsibility of every employee of GBK to stand beside distressed and helpless people apart from extending micro credit services to the target people.
Data Sharing : :
All data and information will be shared by GBK with RBI approved Credit Bureau from time to time for both gathering and sharing member database.
Recruitment : :
- All new recruitments are done in GBK by inviting applications through advertisements in national and/or local daily newspapers.
- References are made to former employers if the candidate has worked in a MFI earlier. In case no response is received to such query within 30 days from the date of referral, appointment in GBK may be considered favorably. No appointments are made in such cases without proper release letter from the former MFI.
- An employee has to serve a notice of 1 month in case s/he would like to tender resignation to GBK. S/he would be eligible for release only after meeting this condition.
- If an experienced person from MFI sector is appointed by GBK in the position of branch manager or above, s/he would not be allotted areas that the person was working as an employee of another MFI.
Governance : :
Implementation of all GBK’s programs is to be done in a transparent and professional manner. It is therefore necessary that due attention is paid to the following issues.
- Governance should be of superior quality. It is therefore essential that members of the Governing Board are well experienced and well reputed.
- At least one third of Governing Body members should be independent who are notdirectly involved with programs of GBK. These members should participate in policy and decision making process of the organization.
- The board should approve all loans that are required to be rescheduled in the event of defaulting borrowers facing hardships in making repayment of existing loans.
- Financial statements of GBK are required to be audited by a qualified Chartered Accountant from Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. GBK should follow all advices given by the Chartered Accountant about accounting and related matters.
- At the end of every financial year, a review is done to ascertain any deviation in implementation of laid down process. A compliance report is required to be submitted before the Board in all such cases.
- It is necessary to create awareness among GBK members about the kind of financial services that they are entitled to from GBK; kind of loan products being offered and roles and responsibilities of every borrower.
- All new entrants to GBK’s program are to be trained on rules and regulations of the
- All field supervisors will verify firsthand about implementation of all systems, from the areas of operation under their control.
- Internal audit department will be monitoring if all clients are aware about all regulations and that implementation of the client education process is satisfactory.
Privacy of Client information : :
- Data and information collected from clients are treated as confidential and are not shared with anyone or any agency except in the following circumstances
- Written approval is taken from a client to share the data;
- If it is legally necessary for GBK to share such data and information;
- Information can be divulged to individual or institution who have been authorized by the client to gather such data;
- In the event of sharing information with Credit Bureau and if there is an existing practice among financial institutions to exchange information and data about any client from their respective database.
Appropriate interaction and collection practices : :
- To build up a trustworthy and long lasting relationship with the clients GBK emphasizes on proper conduct of the employees in dealing with the clients and explanation of all issues to them in easy-to-understand vernacular language.
- It is necessary for GBK employees to interact with client and their family members in a manner that does not hurt their religious sentiments or dignity.
- It is essential to maintain ethical behavior and to follow regulations of the organization while conducting field operations.
- No coercive steps like using abusive language, insulting behavior or terrorizing should be adopted at the time of loan installment collections.
- Employees of Gram Bikash Kendra will not contact clients at odd hours and also will not visit them at inappropriate occasions such as bereavement, sickness etc.
- Gram Bikash Kendra will always acknowledge each and every installment repayment received from its clients with due authentication of the entries in the passbook by the collector.
- GBK employees will always abstain from behaving in a manner that gives rise to unpleasant situations in working areas.
- Loan passbooks are required to be updated with records of latest installment collections by the field officer.
- Every loan application is co-signed by a person or group of persons who undertake to ensure that repayment of loan installments continues smoothly. GBK ensures thatall such persons are made aware about their responsibilities for having given the undertaking.
- No employee of Gram Bikash Kendra will visit houses of its clients during nights for repayment collections.
Member Origination : :
For inclusion of members in its programs, GBK will abide by the following strategies,
- GBK will include people from both rural and urban areas in its programs.
- Income level of the person should be not more than Rs 60000/- p.a. in the rural areas and Rs 120000/- p.a. in the urban areas for being eligible to become member of the organization.
- GBK will include women as its member who are physically fit and active. However a physically challenged woman with capacity to engage herself in productive activities may also be brought into the ambit of its programs.
- Priority will be given to women who are widows, separated, divorced or by any means socially disadvantaged women.
Integrity and Ethical Behavior : :
- After taking into account the dignity of both its members and employees, proper code of conduct and operation manual will be implemented by Gram Bikash Kendra.
- With a view to abide by institutional transparency and professionalism, all GBK employees will conduct operations based on these Codes of Conduct. They will undergo training programs on Code of Conduct issues in order to learn and abide by them.
- All members of Gram Bikash Kendra should be apprised about these codes of conduct.
- Gram Bikash Kendra will not lend to a client in the first cycle if the aggregate demand for loan exceeds Rs.10000/-. Similarly it will desist from lending to a client in the second or subsequent cycle where the demand for loan exceeds Rs.15000/-.
- No loans will be sanctioned by GBK exceeding Rs.15000 if it is repayable within 1 year. Total indebtedness of a borrower will never exceed Rs.50000/-. However, under special circumstances relaxations not exceeding 15% in both the rules may be made.