Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Saturday said the Centre’s economic policies have encouraged non-banking micro-financing and helped the common man to have easy access to loans.

“The UPA Government’s economic policies had encouraged non-banking micro-financing companies run by NGOs across the country,” he said here inaugurating ‘Janasree Microfin Limited’, formed under the pro-Congress Janasree Sustainable Development Mission.

Antony also launched the fourth anniversary celebrations of the ‘Janasree’ mission.

He said the success of ‘Janasree’ in the last four years as a peoples’ movement with more than 50,000 members had proved the capability of Congress workers.

The Minister cautioned the promoters of ‘Microfin’ to ensure that it did not give any room for complaints as it was dealing with money.

“The company should exercise better discipline than banks,” he said.

Mr. Antony recalled that it was late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who brought banks closer to common people through nationalisation. Till then, only big industrialists and businessmen had access to loans from banks.

“Micro financing through which thousands of crores were being distributed as loans was the second phase of nationalisation of banks,” he said.

The former Kerala Chief Minister said the State government-run ‘Kudumbasree’ and ‘Janasree’ could function together in Kerala with a healthy competition between them.

“There is space in the State for all NGOs,” he said.