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    To boost rural incomes, Beijing could ease micro-finance rules

    Tom Holland
    Mar 23, 2011

    "China's leaders talk a lot about lifting incomes for the country's rural poor.

    Their talk is unconvincing. In many cases the ground-level implementation of government policies hinders rather than helps wealth creation among the 54 per cent of the population who still live in the countryside.

    Just consider how mainland banking regulations have obstructed the development of China's micro-finance sector.

    Despite recent criticisms comparing some micro-lenders in India to loan sharks, experience around the world shows that institutions which specialise in making miniature loans to very small businesses can play a big role in creating wealth and reducing poverty, especially in areas where small-scale entrepreneurs have little or no access to conventional financial services..."

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