Bhutan’s Tarayana Foundation Launched Micro-loans For Rural Community Development
The pilot phase of the programme will start from this year in Samtse, Tsirang and Zhemgang for 18 months.
By Thinley Namgay | Kuensel
To meet the financial needs of rural communities in Bhutan, the Tarayaya Foundation launched the Tarayana Micro Finance (TMF) for the rural development programme in Thimphu on 20 February.
The patron of Tarayana Foundation, Her Majesty the Gyalyum Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck launched the programme to commemorate the 40th birth anniversary of His Majesty The King.
Her Majesty said, “Through the launch of this particular initiative, we strive to contribute towards fulfilling His Majesty’s vision of financial inclusion for growth and development so that all citizens will be able to live productively, and with dignity.”
Photo: Facebook/Tarayana MicroFinance
The Tarayana Micro Finance was licensed under the Royal Monetary Authority as a micro-finance institute.
Provided for both individuals and groups, the loans for clients will be given at an interest rate of 15 percent.
Two types of micro-loans
Tarayana Foundation’s Micro Finance Officer, Kuenley Gyeltshen said that the micro-loans will be provided in two categories - classic microfinance, and development microfinance.
The classic microfinance is meant for the beneficiaries who are already operating a micro-business or farming business.
Source: Facebook/Tarayana Foundation
As for the development microfinance scheme, the TMF will provide larger loans for the rural communities to start an income-generating activity such as vegetable or dairy farming.
As a partner of TMF, Bhutan Telecom also developed the B-Ngultrum financial solution to enable electronic payments even for those who do not have a bank account and smartphone. TMF customers can use the B-Ngultrum financial solution to repay loans.
Pilot phase of the Tarayana Micro Finance
The pilot phase of the programme will start from this year in three dzongkhags (districts) - Samtse, Tsirang and Zhemgang for 18 months.
Source: Map of the World
Officials said that based on needs, they had selected these dzongkhags for the pilot phase. After the pilot phase is completed, TMF will reach out to the rest of the dzongkhags.
Her Majesty the Gyalyum said that the Tarayana board members decided to start an initiative on condition that thorough groundwork has been undertaken first and done professionally.
“Special attention was also to be taken to ensure that this was a development financing mechanism. Skills training and handholding services are to be provided to our clients so that together, we can ensure their prosperity in the long run. Special focus on consumer protection and adequate financial literacy training will be provided to all potential clients in the communities,” said Her Majesty the Gyalyum.
In a bid to make good use of funding and resources, the Tarayana microfinance team received professional advice and skills from Oliver Wyman, a global consulting firm headquartered in Singapore.
This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for Daily Bhutan.