MSME sector: Budget 2020: Madam FM, P2P lending can help MSMEs

By Rajat Gandhi

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman would want to make some very tough decisions as she presents the Budget this 12 months for 2020-2021. She would want to raise the economic system with out damaging the fiscal place of the federal government; increase consumption and on the similar time considerably improve investments.

Within investments, there are a number of points, however the chief amongst them is the truth that most monetary establishments, together with banks, within the nation have turned danger averse and the MSME sector is struggling to boost funds. The drawback has solely obtained acute with the disaster within the NBFC sector. When there’s little or no credit score accessible, funding from companies would positively skid. Both the banking and the NBFC sector would take its personal time to search out options to the issues, one of the best guess for the FM can be to strengthen the technology-backed alternate sources of funding.

On the lender aspect, the Budget ought to have a look at one of many long-standing needs of the sector that requires tax-free Investment restrict. This provision would certainly funnel particular person disposable revenue to SMBs that want debt financing. This can be just like investments you make in sure mutual funds and even infrastructure bonds that government-backed corporations come out with. One method to deal with such investments can, maybe, be underneath Section 80C of Income Tax regulation or a distinct part/provision.

Similarly, loss from P2P lending must be thought-about as capital loss when submitting revenue tax. A lender that suffers losses on his funding ought to have the choice to set it off or carry it ahead. The similar algorithm that exist for brief time period and long-term capital losses can apply to P2P lending investments.

Finally, the Budget can additionally have a look at particular tax rebates for lending to MSMEs. This will help lenders in making better investments and worthy small companies the means to boost credit score. We have seen the constructive influence of such measure in superior economies reminiscent of US and UK, the place P2P loans qualify for ISA (Individual Savings Accounts) investments and tax-payers can offset or write-off bad-debts in a single P2P firm towards curiosity earned at one other P2P firm.

This 12 months, the Finance Ministry can additionally decide up suggestions from the Report of the Steering Committee on Fintech Related, which counsel reforming P2P markets and making a market mannequin for debt financing. Effort must be made on this Budget to make sure there’s a better level-playing area between fintech corporations and conventional lenders.

Artificial barrier for the sector must be eliminated, better stream of knowledge between gamers must be ensured and innovation and competitors must be inspired. As beneficial by the committee, Mudra Bank must be allowed to immediately fund or co-fund SMEs and MSMEs by way of P2P platforms. This can pave the way in which for small companies to get credit score quick and at low price. UK’s British Business Bank (akin to India’s Mudra Bank) lending to small companies by way of the P2P lending platform, Funding Circle, ThinCats, RateSetter, and MarketInvoice.

There is completely little doubt the numerous function expertise can play to democratize entry to finance. The current development of P2P lending platform has been largely pushed by an enormous demand for loans from the small companies within the nation. We noticed the federal government’s intent and recognition on the relevance of expertise in fixing financing points when final 12 months in her Budget Sitharaman introduced amendments to Factoring Act, 2011 to facilitate itemizing of NBFCs on the TReDS Platform. For P2P and your complete fintech sector, this Budget must be the coming-of-age.

(The author is the Founder and CEO, Faircent)

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