India’s government looks for flexible fintech
India is staying lively in the fintech space with ambitions to promote financial inclusion and make regulations more flexible.
During the nation’s budget plans, the country’s finance ministry has decided to create an eight-member committee which will be led by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
These are early days but during Jaitley’s Budget Speech 2018-19 he said a “steering committee” will look to improve India’s fintech scene.
This committee will include the CEO of the Unique Identification Authority of India and the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India.
Many countries work together, and India says it will “consider international cooperation opportunities” in the space with countries like UK, China and Singapore.
The panel will also look at e-services to “vulnerable sections”, digital payments, and a regulatory sandbox model. It is just talk at the moment as there are no definite plans or timelines.
Financial inclusion is always a hot topic at present, and Jaitley said in his budget: “Fintech in financing space will help growth of MSMEs [medium, small and micro enterprises]. A group in the Ministry of Finance is examining the policy and institutional development measures needed for creating right environment for fintech companies to grow in India.”
On a more general level, Jaitley says he has provided IND 37.94 trillion ($582.7 million) to the MSME sector for “giving credit support, capital and interest subsidy and innovations”.
Non-bank finance companies (NBFCs) got a mention, as they “can be a very powerful vehicle for delivering loans under MUDRA [Micro Units Development & Refinance Agency]”. Jaitley says refinancing policy and eligibility criteria set by MUDRA will be reviewed for “better refinancing” of NBFCs.
With funding sweeping across the world, India is naturally aware of this. Jaitley explains that venture capital (VC) funds and angel investors “need an innovative and special developmental and regulatory regime for their growth”.
He highlights its ‘‘Start-Up India’’ programme and says the country “will take additional measures to strengthen the environment for their growth and successful operation of alternative investment funds in India”.
Let’s wait and see how all these words translate into action.