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5 problems borrowers face in India that NBFCs can solve

  15.February.2018

5 problems borrowers face in India that NBFCs can solve

Introduction

India’s lending landscape is fragmented and typical to the core. It is not subject to any sort of standardization with the credit contours varying wildly, from the cash-affluent HNIs to the humble wage-earners. This landscape includes enterprises, the successful business chains, the 51% micro, small and medium enterprises and the ubiquitous one-man businesses. These smaller entities generally don’t have many financial documents to prove their creditworthiness. In the face of all this, the common borrower faces many problems when applying for a loan.

Problems faced by borrowers

1)      The problem of putting up collateral- Small scale businesses and entrepreneurs would have routine problems putting up collateral. While bigger companies can put up their offices and infrastructure the smaller entities can put up their homes or land. It is not easy to convince a bank to disburse a loan on house that was built several decades ago or is not built exactly as per approved plan or in Govt approved locality.

 

2)      The problem of credit health- The credit rating agencies in India (CIBIL, CRIF, Equifax, Experian, Highmark – NBFC companies like www.prestloans are generally member of all these companies) have been operating under the mechanism that worked for them in western markets. They seek out information on salary, assets and try pulling more details through one’s PAN card number. While that might work for urban, salaried professionals, that approach doesn’t yield the right credit rating for someone from a different background, people with no credit history and income setup.

3)      The problem of repeated lending- A business by definition is risky. Failures are as common as getting rejected from a job interview. However, there is acute record of the former, which rears its head when banks seek out to do their research. Even if the businesses were low-profile and their closure did not liquidate much assets, a business failure raises some eyebrows very quickly.

 

4)      The problem of due process- Banks have a fixed set of processes and regulations in place. A loan application form needs a certain number of signatures, a certain list of documents and a certain amount of protocol that needs to be followed to the letter. It is not possible for say, a weaver or a tea seller who has no financial literacy, to understand these processes or hire a consultant to do these things for him. These sort of things discourage borrowers and often lend the banks, incorrectly, an air of high-handedness and resulting unapproachability.

5)      The problem of time- Banks also take a certain amount of time to process a loan application form. There are approvals that are taken from multiple departments while the application form ricochets off its mysterious walls. For a borrower outside, each waiting day can elevate worry, cause loss of business opportunity and also cause ‘locking’, where the borrower can only wait and not ask for any more loans (if he asks for multiple loans to different banks, the credit health takes a major hit). This is severely problematic in a world where the need to secure finance can be very immediate.

How can NBFCs help?

Non-Banking Financial Corporations (NBFCs) indeed come to the rescue of the borrowers and help them get loans, while eschewing these five pesky situations.

NBFCs have the specialization (since they only primarily lend to grow their business, banks do a lot of other things) to understand a loan application in terms of the business idea, the family history (old families in villages etc. would have a lot of undocumented assets like livestock, land, ancestral property), the urgency and the amount. NBFCs also consult the borrower on the amount of the loan and help them tweak it, if necessary. On the contrary, a bank might reject an application for INR 5 lakh but might pass the application if it were for INR 1 lakh. But rarely would a bank come back to the applicant and tell them to re-apply for a lower amount. A NBFC on the other hand, can provide such specialized consultation.

A NBFC can also provide a list of partners that can help a borrower achieve digitization or standardization that will help them document their business in a better way. NBFCs are more flexible than banks in terms of due process. They can prioritize loan applications and work for the borrower to make an exception.

NBFCs today, also adopt modern technology to achieve workflows in a much faster way. They also evaluate credit health more intelligently and have the underlying technology to capture the various nuances of a loan application which a traditional bank may miss out on.

NBFCs will help the lending landscape in India to grow. The Financial Stability Report (https://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/PublicationReport/Pdfs/0FSR_30061794092D8D036447928A4B45880863B33E.PDF) from RBI does corroborate that fact. NBFCs have the know-how, the eagerness and the right processes to serve borrowers in a better way.

 

Prest Loans (www.prestloans.com) is one such digital lending NBFC that is dedicated to make   a change to this landscape. Get in touch with us today and know more about how we can work together to secure easy and assured finance for you and help you ‘grow your business’!

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The top MSME schemes from the Indian Government

  14.February.2018

The top MSME schemes from the Indian Government

The Indian Government has always given special importance to the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector. These sectors were at the heart of the Indian economy before industrialization took over but even with all the industrialization and the stress on bulk production, the presence of MSMEs is still significant because it absorbs the shocks from the economic tsunamis that happen around the globe. These homegrown businesses today, contribute to 33.4 % of the manufacturing output according to this report from CII. (http://www.cii.in/Sectors.aspx?enc=prvePUj2bdMtgTmvPwvisYH+5EnGjyGXO9hLECvTuNuXK6QP3tp4gPGuPr/xpT2f) It is also worth noting that the MSMEs account for 24.63% of the GDP from service activities as per estimates of www.prestloans.com. The importance of MSMEs is hence well-known and the government has floated some impressive schemes to help these businesses grow. Let us take a look at the top schemes amongst all of them.

1)      The Performance and Credit Rating Scheme

An MSME today would rely on securing credit from either banks or NBFCs. However, the process of judging the credit health of an MSME can be complex and also expensive, if the assistance of the usual credit rating agencies is taken. The Indian Government has introduced the performance and credit rating scheme to help an MSME get a trusted third-party opinion on its creditworthiness and the capabilities. This scheme has a list of registered rating agencies. The key advantage here is that the rating fee is subsidized to the ‘extent of 75% subject to ceiling of ₹ 1500/-, ₹ 30000/-or ₹ 40000/-based on the turnover’

2)      Credit Guarantee Trust Fund for Micro & Small Enterprises (CGT SME)

This scheme talks about the establishment of a trust fund that implements the ‘Credit Guarantee Scheme’ for MSMEs. This scheme is useful for the MSMEs that are seeking credit from banks but have trouble putting up collateral or securing a large enough amount. The scheme guarantees 75% of the loan amount to the bank helping the MSME have a relaxed collateral burden.

3)      Credit Linked Capital Subsidy for Technology Upgradation (CLCSS)

This scheme is one extremely useful way for MSMEs to upgrade their technology and come to be at par with the larger players. The CLCSS provides 15% up front capital up to INR 1 crore for technology upgradation. The scheme also explicitly states that the technology introduced should be state-of-the-art or near-state-of-the-art. The scheme allows every MSME to apply.

 Entrepreneurial and Managerial Development of SMEs through Incubators

The government has also recognized the growing enthusiasm of college graduates to start their own ventures. To that end, the government provides early stage funding to nurture ‘innovative business ideas’. These ideas could be a new technology, or product or service or even a process that should have a plan to become commercialized in a year. The scheme talks about an assistance of INR 4 lakh to INR 8 lakh for each idea. This scheme is ideal for college graduates on their way to setup their own MSME.

5)      Financial Support to MSMEs in ZED Certification Scheme

The government also wants to introduce measures of quality in MSMEs by introducing the Zero Defect, Zero Effect (ZED) certification scheme. The hand-holding initiative would empower MSMEs to reduce wastages, increase productivity, increase in-house Intellectual Properties, and pioneer new processes. This scheme introduces subsidy of 80%, 60% and 50% of the certification cost to Micro, Small and Medium enterprises respectively. The steps in the scheme involved rating of the MSME, gap analysis and hand-holding of the MSME towards the certification.

 Building Awareness on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

This is a scheme that is useful for MSMEs to build their knowledge about Intellectual Property Rights and also build their own products or services that can be patented. The scheme provides various amounts of assistance for pilot studies and awareness programs. There is funding support for setting up IP facilitation and also for patent and GI registration. The scheme also includes the fees for training conducted by expert agencies on specialized IPR issues.

 

The Indian Government has really come of age in creating the right schemes for MSMEs. There are several more than you can check out at http://msme.gov.in/all-schemes. The Indian Government’s schemes are designed to help MSMEs evaluate their operations, secure hassle-free credit, organize better operations and build patentable products. In regards to securing hassle-free credit, a NBFC like www.prestloans.com   is very effective. The dual impact of a good scheme and a committed financial partner like NBFC can help an MSME to skyrocket its growth journey.

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Role of NBFCs in the growth of micro enterprises

  12.February.2018

Introduction

India has always been home to a vibrant spectrum of microenterprises even before that term became popular in mainstream economics. The small business sector in India is deeply rooted in familial customs and niche skills. Today, that sector has been recognized as a legitimate business sector with its own set of nuanced workings. This sector now includes 51 million microenterprises, each with its specific need for credit. These microenterprises were traditionally not financed by banks due to the need of too many financial documents and credit records.  Non-Banking Financial Corporations (NBFCs) are offering more interesting propositions to these microenterprises. NBFCs are playing an increasingly important role in the growth of microenterprises.

Why microenterprises favor NBFCs

Microenterprises are generally categorized under the riskier borrower segments of banks. While many banks have their own MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) divisions, their drive towards evaluating the low-credit health applications of microenterprises is limited. The reason for the low-credit health is the non-availability of the traditional means of collateral. NBFCs are however, more innovative towards the evaluation of the credit risk. Factors like the business stability (which may be undocumented), family repute, product idea or market monopoly are hard to weigh on a credit scoring scale. NBFCs today carry the expertise and the technology to evaluate these seemingly unquantifiable parameters and arrive at an informed decision about the credit health of microenterprises. The banks generally fail to make such judgments or find the loan application to be too risky by their measures.

 Due to this difference in the approach towards lending, the banks’ total share in the loan market fell from 49% to 28% according to a report (https://www.bcg.com/documents/file15284.pdf) by the Boston Consulting Group. The same report also states that the share of NBFCs rose from 21% to an impressive 44%. This happened in just three years, between 2014 and 2017. 

NBFCs are also being favored by the younger entrepreneurial populace, which has taken a liking to the lesser bureaucracy and flexibility of NBFCs. The same report states that NBFCs had the lion’s share of the market for loans to persons aged between 21 and 35, at 49%.

Why NBFCs favor microenterprises

Most microenterprises seek loans under project finance, equipment finance or loan against property (LAP). In these three categories, LAPs are the most popular amongst microenterprises, where the business owner’s residential or commercial property is put up as collateral. The rate of delinquency for microenterprises are in the range of 7.4% to 8.1% as against the much more discouraging figures of 12.25% to 22.3% for large corporates. This is ironic because, microenterprises get routinely turned down to their perceived credit health issues, the keyword here being ‘perceived’. NBFCs favor microenterprises because they have the analytics to tell them the real story and not just consider the presence of large office space or employee strength.

NBFCs are also generally working with lesser opex, more flexibility and greater agility. These factors lead to NBFCs being comfortable with the microenterprise lending arena, which would generally discourage a bank. Microenterprises also offer partnership options or profit-sharing options to NBFCs that seem attractive because of the entrepreneurial spirit that NBFCs yearn to kindle. These kind of benefits are different from the traditional money-lending advantages, that NBFCs make ample use of.

The introduction of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) is a move that has placed the transactions of many undocumented microenterprises on the map. NBFCs are able to view the business activity of a microenterprise with much greater clarity than before.

NBFC 2.0 are attracting more microenterprises

The marriage of financial technology and the existing set of financial services that NBFCs provide is churning out more futuristic companies that are said to be a part of NBFC 2.0. These companies are using a mix of different analytics’ tools to conduct their credit health check. By checking the website traffic of the microenterprise, the social media activity, the track record of the entrepreneurs, the innovation introduced in the product or service, NBFC 2.0 is processing loan applications at a much quicker pace. This is helping the growth of microenterprises which in turn feeds back to the growth of NBFCs. NBFCs are also growing in terms of technology and expertise and not just size. This growth is helping them become better at providing financial services to microenterprises.

Conclusion

NBFCs will continue to do better in the microenterprises’ arena compared to their banking counterparts. They already have a competitive market share that is only expected to grow as microenterprises become more familiar to the nation and the economy.

The quickness to respond, utilization of technology, analysis of non-standard credit health aspects and desire to innovate will make NBFCs, preferred choice for credit for microenterprises.

 

Prest Loans (www.prestloans.com) is a new age Fintech NBFC that uses technology and analytics to provide easy finance options to MSMEs.

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NBFCs and beyond: The smart way to get loans for SMEs

  29.January.2018

NBFCs and beyond: The smart way to get loans for SMEs

Emergence and importance of NBFCs 

SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) in India account for 30% of the entire production volume and generate 55 million jobs. These are the official documented figures however there is a large amount of undocumented, unreported amount of business that happens every day in the nation that shapes its economic identity. SMEs are important part of the economy and their ability to get loans is an important determinant to how well they do which in turn has a direct impact on the nation’s economic prosperity. Traditionally, SMEs would approach banks to offer them loans. That particular scenario is rapidly changing due to the emergence of NBFCs (Non-Banking Financial Companies) in the scene.

What are NBFCs and what are their advantages

A NBFC is a setup which has the ability to lend money and engage in a few banking activities as well. But a NBFC doesn’t own a banking license. So they are not allowed to take deposits from the populace. Their range of services (outside lending) generally involve underwriting, retirement planning services and consultation on mergers. NBFCs are fast growing in India due a number of advantages that they offer. 

These are a few advantages that NBFCs offer over traditional banking institutions.

1) Use of technology: NBFCs rely on technology to execute a significant portion of the legwork that is imperative for any loan disbursement process. Employing technology also means that NBFCs can support more customers, in a more effective manner by the use of automation in their process. This also helps better the customer experience.

2) Faster decision making or lesser turnaround time (TAT):  NBFCs have a faster decision making process due to the employment of technology and because of better processes. The latter is because of lending being their primary business. The faster decision making also comes from the experience that NBFCs carry in making a sound credit judgment about applicants.

3) Use ofalternate data: NBFCs rely on alternate data to evaluate a loan application. This alternate data includes information about credit card transactions, point of sale transactions, social media activity, browsing patterns, email receipts etc. This leads to more innovative analysis to happen on the applicants’ data and allows for greater flexibility in the adjudication of credit heath.

4) Less scrutiny and regulation- While this raises some important issues that we will examine later, the less regulated space that NBFCs operate in allows SMEs to secure loans more easily than they would, from a bank. NBFCs can allow for lesser collateral and a less healthy credit score to be approved for a loan.

5) Smoother application process- Banks have a lot of business sectors and a bunch of financial offerings. Money-lending is the prime business driver for NBFCs. Hence, NBFCs have better aligned processes and a more dedicated workforce for the lending operation. As a result, the process to apply to a NBFC is generally easier and the turnaround time is quicker.

6) Financial consultation- Many popular NBFCs (this is a concept that has come from the West) offer financial consultation with the lending services. This financial consultation is provided to help the SMEs succeed in their chosen business field, which makes the investment more profitable.

7) Less or no hidden charges- NBFCs are innovating to get rid of those hidden charges (called premiums or special fees) that quickly discourage SMEs from proceeding with a loan application. These hidden charges are actually completely avoidable if the right credit check mechanism is used.

8) Smoother credit check- NBFCs have to be nimbler in the entire loan approval process. Many NBFCs today are employing sophisticated credit checks to shorten the entire process. This is becoming increasingly popular with the advent of FinTech (financial technology).

Importance of checks and balances

NBFCs are not new in any aspect. In the US for example, NBFCs (or rather NBFIs, as they are known there) are very commonplace. They came into the limelight of notoriety after the crash of 2008. That has called for stricter regulations in place and better credit checking to be done. The sub-prime mortgage loans were given out to entities with shady credit scores and without the right regulations in place, the lenders were able to get away with lending to sub-prime loan seekers. This information has had a direct impact on the global scene of NBFCs (and in India) where with their growth, there is also the need to have the right checks and balances.

NBFCs and FinTech – a great match for SMEs

It is in this regard where technology offers compelling solutions for NBFCs. The checks to make sure that the applicants have a healthy credit score are important while the time needed to process an application needs to be less, to beat the competition. Automated integration with credit checking entities like CIBIL or Equifax comes of immense value. The entire process of going through pages over pages of documentation is immediately lessened with one simple data fetch from the credit bureaus that tell the NBFC of the credit score of the applicant. This is one of major benefits of technology which is why many NBFCs are turning to FinTech to automate some of their lending processes. New age NBFC companies like Prest Loans are doing extremely well in this segment by using alternate data and innovative analytics technology to pull up valuable insights from those data points. They are also gradually cultivating a culture of symbiosis, by helping the SMEs grow with their own growth. This further sharpens the technology they use and makes them better lenders than their banking counterparts.

NBFCs will continue to be a great help to SMEs in securing sure and timely loans. As the SME sector grows, NBFCs will have to scale up to meet the increasing credit demand and disburse loans, backed with the right checks and balances.

Prest Loans is a leading RBI registered NBFC based in Delhi. “Prest” means ‘to stands for’ or be Ready. It also means advance of money or loan. Prest Loans is a new age FinTech NBFC that provides all kinds of loans to support and encourage small and mid-sized businesses.

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जीएसटी (GST) को बनायें फ़ायदे का सौदा 

  18.August.2017

कल यूँ ही ऑफिस के कॉरिडोर से गुज़रते हुए तीन लोगों को जीएसटी (GST) के बारे में बात करते हुए सुना. उनमे से दो छोटे व्यापारी थे जिनका अपना जनरल स्टोर व गाड़ियों की पार्ट्स का व्यापार था व तीसरा हमारे ऑफिस का क्रेडिट मेनेजर था, जो पूरी लगन के साथ उन दोनों को जीएसटी में रजिस्ट्रेशन कराने तथा प्रेस्टलोन्स से लोन लेने के फ़ायदे समझा रहा था. अधिक जानने पर पता चला कि उन्हें प्रेस्टलोन्स से लोन लेने के फायदे तो समझ आ रहे थे लेकिन हाल ही में सरकार द्वारा लागू किये गए ‘गुड्स एंड सर्विस टैक्स’ (GST) को लेकर उनके मन में कई सवाल व उलझनें थी जिन्हें हमारा क्रेडिट मैनजेर सुलझाने में लगा हुआ था. 

जीएसटी (GST) यानि ‘गुड्स एंड सर्विस टैक्स’, जिसे भारत सरकार द्वारा एक बहुत बड़े कर सुधार के रूप में 1 जुलाई 2017 से लागू किया जा चुका है. यह एक ऐसा एकीकृत टैक्स है जो वस्तुओं और सेवाओं दोनों पर लगता है. अर्थात अब एक्साइज ड्यूटी, सेवा कर, वैट, मनोरंजन कर आदि की जगह पर सिर्फ एक टैक्स हैं, वस्तु एवं सेवा कर (GST). इसको लेकर लोगों में जितनी दिलचस्पी है उतनी ही भ्रांतियां भी है. ख़ासकर व्यापारी वर्ग के मन में इसको लेकर कई तरह के सवाल जन्म ले रहें हैं, जैसे, जीएसटी का क्या मतलब है? इसका व्यापार पर क्या असर होगा? या फ़िर अभी तक चले आ रहे बाकी टैक्सेज से यह कितना अलग है? उनके मन में चल रहे इन्हीं सवालों की वजह से जीएसटी के प्रति व्यापारियों में रोष व्याप्त हो गया है और वह इसके खिलाफ़ विरोध पर उतर आये है.

बात करें पहले लगाये जाने वाले बाकि टैक्सेज जैसे- एक्साइज ड्यूटी, सेवा कर, वैट आदि की तो इसके बारे में भी व्यापरियों को गहरी जानकारी नहीं थी, चूंकि यह टैक्स लम्बे समय से चले रहे थे इसीलिए कहीं न कहीं इसको उन्होंने अपनी आदत में शामिल कर लिया था. यही वजह है की जीएसटी को वह स्वीकार नहीं कर पा रहें हैं, जिसके परिणाम स्वरुप नुकसान उन्हीं को उठाना पड़ रहा, इससे अच्छा यही है की सरकार द्वारा लागू किये इस टैक्स को वह सहर्षता के साथ स्वीकार करें व इसको समझने की सकारात्मक कोशिश करें. 

यहाँ समझने वाली बात यह है कि सरकार ने व्यापारियों के हितों को ध्यान में रखते हुए और नए सिस्टम को अच्छे से समझने के लिए सभी व्यापारियों को पहले 2 महीने में जीएसटी रिटर्न फाइल करने से छूट दे रखी है. इसके अलावा किसी भी व्यापार को शुरू करने से पहले जहाँ व्यापारी को एक्साइज ड्यूटी, सेवा कर, वैट आदि अलग-अलग रजिस्ट्रेशन कराने पड़ते थे वही सरकार ने इससे राहत प्रदान करते हुए अब सिर्फ एक रजिस्ट्रेशन ही अनिवार्य किया है और वो है जीएसटी. साथ ही सरकार ने जीएसटी से सम्बंधित किसी भी समस्या के समाधान के लिए जगह-जगह जीएसटी सेवा केंद्र खोल रखे हैं. व्यापारी इनके कॉल सेंटर में फ़ोन करके या ख़ुद केन्द्रों पर जाकर अपने सवालों का जवाब प्राप्त कर सकते हैं. 

व्यापारी वर्ग के लिए यह जानना बहुत ज़रूरी है कि जीएसटी के तहत सरकार ने कारोबारियों की कुछ श्रेणियां बनायीं है जिनके अंतर्गत ऐसे छोटे व्यापारियों को शामिल किया गया है, जिनका सालाना टर्न ओवर या तो 20 लाख तक है या फिर 20 से 75 लाख तक है. जहां तक 20 लाख से नीचे के दुकानदारों की बात है तो बता दें कि उनके ऊपर जीएसटी टैक्स का कोईफर्क नहीं पड़ा है,पहले भी वो टैक्स नहींदेते थे और अब भी वह जीएसटी की छूट वाली श्रेणी में ही आते है. ऐसे में 20 लाख तक सालाना टर्नओवरवाले कारोबारियों पर जीएसटी का कोई असर नहीं पड़ा है.

वहीँ 20 से 75 लाख तक सालाना टर्नओवर वाले व्यापारियों को पहले सामान बेचने पर वैट और कई दूसरे टैक्स देने पड़ते थे, अब जीएसटी में रजिस्ट्रेशन कराने के बाद ये ग्राहकों से जीएसटी चार्ज कर पाएंगे और इनपुट क्रेडिट भी ले पाएंगे या सरकार की कंपोजिट स्कीम लेकर उन्हें सालानाटर्नओवर का सिर्फ 0.5 फीसदी टैक्स देना पड़ेगा, यानि 75 लाख के टर्नओवर पर सालाना 37500 रूपए टैक्स देना होगा. एक तरीके से देखें तो कोई ख़ास बदलाव नहीं हुआ है. जहाँ तक बात रही रिटर्न फ़ाइल करने की या फिर टैक्स भरने की तो पहले से ही यह काम व्यापारियों के चार्टेड अकाउंटेंट या फिर कंसलटेंट करते आ रहे थे जो कि अभी भी जारी है. ऐसे में व्यापारी वर्ग को यह  ज़िम्मेदारी उन्हीं पर छोड़ देनी चहिये. क्यूंकि इसके खिलाफ़ हड़ताल या दुकानें बंद करके उनका ही नुकसान हो रहा है.

प्रेस्टलोन्स (PrestLoans) जैसी NBFC कंपनी का मानना है कि व्यापारी यदि जीएसटी में रजिस्ट्रेशन करा लेंगें तो यह उनकी तरफ से लिया गया एक सकारात्मक कदम होगा. यह शुरू में भले ही थोडा कष्टदायक लगता है लेकिन दीर्घकाल में इसका सबसे अधिक फायदा व्यापारी बंधुओं को ही होगा.व्यापार का सारा विवरण रिकॉर्ड में होने के कारण सस्ती दर पर आसानी से लोन ले पाएंगे क्योंकि इन व्यापारियों के प्रति प्रेस्टलोन्स जैसी NBFC कंपनी का विश्वास भी बढ़ेगा. अगर आप जीएसटी रजिस्टर्ड हैं तो माना जायेगा कि आप सही तरीके से व्यापर कर रहे हैं. सिर्फ इतना ही नहीं जीएसटी में एक रेटिंग सिस्टम भी है और मेरा ऐसा मानना है कि जीएसटी की रेटिंग के हिसाब से ही बैंक और NBFC व्यापारियों की रेटिंग करेंगे और उन्हें उसी तरीके से लोन भी देंगे जैसे ई- कॉमर्स में भी रिव्यू और रेटिंग सिस्टम से छोटे व्यापारियों को लोन मिला है इसीलिए व्यापारी वर्ग को यह टैक्स एक अवसर की तरह लेना चाहिए व ‘गुड्स एंड सर्विस टैक्स’ (GST) में जल्द से जल्द रजिस्ट्रेशन करवाना चाहिए.  

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छोटे व्यापारियों की समस्याएँ व समाधान

  04.July.2017

सुबह की चाय हो या शाम की चाट, घर में इस्तेमाल होने वाले बर्तन हों या गाड़ियों में लगने वाले कवर, ये सभी चीज़ें हमारी रोजाना की ज़िन्दगी का एक अटूट हिस्सा हैं और हम तक इन्हें पहुँचाने का काम करते हैं वो छोटे व्यापारी जिनका व्यवसाय हमारी ज़रूरतों पर फलता-फूलता है. ये व्यापार कोई भी हो सकता है जैसे दूध, ब्रेड, किराने की दुकान, स्टेशनरी, चमड़ा, दुपहिया व चार पहिया गाड़ियों के पार्ट्स, आर्टिफीशियल ज्यूलरी आदि. ऐसे कई व्यापार चलाने वाले छोटे-छोटे व्यापारी हमें अपने आस-पास मिल जायेंगे.   

इस तरह के सभी व्यापारी अपना व्यवसाय चलाने के लिए नक़द लेनदेन पर निर्भर हैं. शिक्षा के अभाव के चलते ये व्यापारी बैंकिंग सुविधा इस्तेमाल करने से कतराते हैं. नकदी में काम करते हुए सालाना 3 से 4 लाख कमाने वाले ये छोटे व्यापारी इनकम टैक्स के दायरे में भी नहीं आते या यूँ कह लें कि बैंक के चक्कर लगाना या लाइन में खड़ा होना इनके लिए समय की बर्बादी जैसा है. ऐसे में अपना व्यापार बढ़ाने के लिए उन्हें लोन की आवश्यकता होती है तो वह बैंक के पास नहीं जा सकते क्यूंकि बैंक उन्हें लोन देने के लिए बैंक की ट्रांज़ेक्शन सहित बिल व इनकम टैक्स रिटर्न और वैट व सेल्स टैक्स भरने जैसी जानकारियों की डिमांड करेगा जोकि कागज़ी तौर पर उनके पास मौजूद नहीं होती हैं. अच्छा व्यापार होने के बावजूद डाक्यूमेंट्स की कमी के चलते कोई भी बैंक इन्हें व्यापार में बढ़ोत्तरी के लिए लोन नहीं देता है.  

इस स्थिति में छोटे व्यापारियों की समस्या का समाधान करती है प्रेस्टलोन्स (PrestLoans) जैसी एनबीएफसी (NBFC) कंपनी. जोकि ऐसे व्यापारियों से मिलकर उनकी समस्याओं को समझने की कोशिश करती है. उनके पास रोज़ आने वाले ग्राहकों से लेकर उनकी सेल व बचे हुए स्टॉक का मूल्यांकन करते हुए उनके प्रॉफिट मार्जिन को समझती है. साथ ही उनकी खरीद-फ़रोख्त, लाभ-हानि को देखते हुए उनके व्यापार की बैलेंस शीट व वास्तविक नक़द व्यापार का मूल्यांकन भी करती है जो वह छोटा व्यापारी नहीं कर पा रहा.  

ऐसे में प्रेस्टलोन्स का क्रेडिट मैनेजर उधारकर्ता की पूँजी की आवश्यकता व व्यापार बढ़ाने के लिए लगने वाली रकम की ज़रूरत को समझने की कोशिश करता है. वह लोन देने से पहले उनकी वित्तीय ज़रूरतों को परखने के साथ ही कुछ और ज़रूरी जानकारियों पर भी पैनी नज़र रखता है जैसे: उधारकर्ता कितने साल से इस व्यापार में है, उसका व्यवहार व उसका सामाजिक दायरा कैसा है, वह उधार चुकाने के काबिल है या नहीं व उधार चुकाना चाहता है या नहीं आदि. क्यूंकि नए ज़माने की फिनटेक (FinTech) कंपनियां आर्थिक आंकड़ों के अलावा अन्य सामाजिक एवं व्यक्तिगत आंकड़ों पर ज्यादा ध्यान देती हैं. 

सभी जानकारियों को अच्छे से परख लेने के बाद PrestLoans इन छोटे व्यापरियों को उनका व्यापार बढ़ाने के लिए लोन देकर वित्तीय सहायता प्रदान करता है. यदि उनके पास व्यापार सम्बंधित कागज़ी सबूत न भी हो तो भी उधारकर्ता लोन के बदले अपने घर/दुकान के कागज़ या अपना स्टॉक प्रेस्टलोन्स के पास सुरक्षा के तौर पर गिरवी रख सकता है. अधिकतर मामलों में यह लोन बिना किसी गिरवी के भी होता है. लेकिन इस वित्तीय सहायता से ऐसे सभी छोटे व्यापारियों का व्यापार मुख्य धारा में आना मुमकिन हो पाता है. इस तरह उनके व्यापार में तरक्की तो होती ही है साथ ही वह नक़द व्यापार करना भी कम कर देतें हैं, जिससे समाज का विकास होता है और समाज का विकास ही देश का विकास है, जिसके लिए प्रेस्टलोन्स (PrestLoans) हमेशा ही तत्पर है. 

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5 problems borrowers face in India that NBFCs can solve

5 problems borrowers face in India that NBFCs can solve

Introduction

India’s lending landscape is fragmented and typical to the core. It is not subject to any sort of standardization with the credit contours varying wildly, from the cash-affluent HNIs to the humble wage-earners. This landscape includes enterprises, the successful business chains, the 51% micro, small and medium enterprises and the ubiquitous one-man businesses. These smaller entities generally don’t have many financial documents to prove their creditworthiness. In the face of all this, the common borrower faces many problems when applying for a loan.

Problems faced by borrowers

1)      The problem of putting up collateral- Small scale businesses and entrepreneurs would have routine problems putting up collateral. While bigger companies can put up their offices and infrastructure the smaller entities can put up their homes or land. It is not easy to convince a bank to disburse a loan on house that was built several decades ago or is not built exactly as per approved plan or in Govt approved locality.

 

2)      The problem of credit health- The credit rating agencies in India (CIBIL, CRIF, Equifax, Experian, Highmark – NBFC companies like www.prestloans are generally member of all these companies) have been operating under the mechanism that worked for them in western markets. They seek out information on salary, assets and try pulling more details through one’s PAN card number. While that might work for urban, salaried professionals, that approach doesn’t yield the right credit rating for someone from a different background, people with no credit history and income setup.

3)      The problem of repeated lending- A business by definition is risky. Failures are as common as getting rejected from a job interview. However, there is acute record of the former, which rears its head when banks seek out to do their research. Even if the businesses were low-profile and their closure did not liquidate much assets, a business failure raises some eyebrows very quickly.

 

4)      The problem of due process- Banks have a fixed set of processes and regulations in place. A loan application form needs a certain number of signatures, a certain list of documents and a certain amount of protocol that needs to be followed to the letter. It is not possible for say, a weaver or a tea seller who has no financial literacy, to understand these processes or hire a consultant to do these things for him. These sort of things discourage borrowers and often lend the banks, incorrectly, an air of high-handedness and resulting unapproachability.

5)      The problem of time- Banks also take a certain amount of time to process a loan application form. There are approvals that are taken from multiple departments while the application form ricochets off its mysterious walls. For a borrower outside, each waiting day can elevate worry, cause loss of business opportunity and also cause ‘locking’, where the borrower can only wait and not ask for any more loans (if he asks for multiple loans to different banks, the credit health takes a major hit). This is severely problematic in a world where the need to secure finance can be very immediate.

How can NBFCs help?

Non-Banking Financial Corporations (NBFCs) indeed come to the rescue of the borrowers and help them get loans, while eschewing these five pesky situations.

NBFCs have the specialization (since they only primarily lend to grow their business, banks do a lot of other things) to understand a loan application in terms of the business idea, the family history (old families in villages etc. would have a lot of undocumented assets like livestock, land, ancestral property), the urgency and the amount. NBFCs also consult the borrower on the amount of the loan and help them tweak it, if necessary. On the contrary, a bank might reject an application for INR 5 lakh but might pass the application if it were for INR 1 lakh. But rarely would a bank come back to the applicant and tell them to re-apply for a lower amount. A NBFC on the other hand, can provide such specialized consultation.

A NBFC can also provide a list of partners that can help a borrower achieve digitization or standardization that will help them document their business in a better way. NBFCs are more flexible than banks in terms of due process. They can prioritize loan applications and work for the borrower to make an exception.

NBFCs today, also adopt modern technology to achieve workflows in a much faster way. They also evaluate credit health more intelligently and have the underlying technology to capture the various nuances of a loan application which a traditional bank may miss out on.

NBFCs will help the lending landscape in India to grow. The Financial Stability Report (https://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/PublicationReport/Pdfs/0FSR_30061794092D8D036447928A4B45880863B33E.PDF) from RBI does corroborate that fact. NBFCs have the know-how, the eagerness and the right processes to serve borrowers in a better way.

 

Prest Loans (www.prestloans.com) is one such digital lending NBFC that is dedicated to make   a change to this landscape. Get in touch with us today and know more about how we can work together to secure easy and assured finance for you and help you ‘grow your business’!

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The top MSME schemes from the Indian Government

The top MSME schemes from the Indian Government

The Indian Government has always given special importance to the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector. These sectors were at the heart of the Indian economy before industrialization took over but even with all the industrialization and the stress on bulk production, the presence of MSMEs is still significant because it absorbs the shocks from the economic tsunamis that happen around the globe. These homegrown businesses today, contribute to 33.4 % of the manufacturing output according to this report from CII. (http://www.cii.in/Sectors.aspx?enc=prvePUj2bdMtgTmvPwvisYH+5EnGjyGXO9hLECvTuNuXK6QP3tp4gPGuPr/xpT2f) It is also worth noting that the MSMEs account for 24.63% of the GDP from service activities as per estimates of www.prestloans.com. The importance of MSMEs is hence well-known and the government has floated some impressive schemes to help these businesses grow. Let us take a look at the top schemes amongst all of them.

1)      The Performance and Credit Rating Scheme

An MSME today would rely on securing credit from either banks or NBFCs. However, the process of judging the credit health of an MSME can be complex and also expensive, if the assistance of the usual credit rating agencies is taken. The Indian Government has introduced the performance and credit rating scheme to help an MSME get a trusted third-party opinion on its creditworthiness and the capabilities. This scheme has a list of registered rating agencies. The key advantage here is that the rating fee is subsidized to the ‘extent of 75% subject to ceiling of ₹ 1500/-, ₹ 30000/-or ₹ 40000/-based on the turnover’

2)      Credit Guarantee Trust Fund for Micro & Small Enterprises (CGT SME)

This scheme talks about the establishment of a trust fund that implements the ‘Credit Guarantee Scheme’ for MSMEs. This scheme is useful for the MSMEs that are seeking credit from banks but have trouble putting up collateral or securing a large enough amount. The scheme guarantees 75% of the loan amount to the bank helping the MSME have a relaxed collateral burden.

3)      Credit Linked Capital Subsidy for Technology Upgradation (CLCSS)

This scheme is one extremely useful way for MSMEs to upgrade their technology and come to be at par with the larger players. The CLCSS provides 15% up front capital up to INR 1 crore for technology upgradation. The scheme also explicitly states that the technology introduced should be state-of-the-art or near-state-of-the-art. The scheme allows every MSME to apply.

 Entrepreneurial and Managerial Development of SMEs through Incubators

The government has also recognized the growing enthusiasm of college graduates to start their own ventures. To that end, the government provides early stage funding to nurture ‘innovative business ideas’. These ideas could be a new technology, or product or service or even a process that should have a plan to become commercialized in a year. The scheme talks about an assistance of INR 4 lakh to INR 8 lakh for each idea. This scheme is ideal for college graduates on their way to setup their own MSME.

5)      Financial Support to MSMEs in ZED Certification Scheme

The government also wants to introduce measures of quality in MSMEs by introducing the Zero Defect, Zero Effect (ZED) certification scheme. The hand-holding initiative would empower MSMEs to reduce wastages, increase productivity, increase in-house Intellectual Properties, and pioneer new processes. This scheme introduces subsidy of 80%, 60% and 50% of the certification cost to Micro, Small and Medium enterprises respectively. The steps in the scheme involved rating of the MSME, gap analysis and hand-holding of the MSME towards the certification.

 Building Awareness on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

This is a scheme that is useful for MSMEs to build their knowledge about Intellectual Property Rights and also build their own products or services that can be patented. The scheme provides various amounts of assistance for pilot studies and awareness programs. There is funding support for setting up IP facilitation and also for patent and GI registration. The scheme also includes the fees for training conducted by expert agencies on specialized IPR issues.

 

The Indian Government has really come of age in creating the right schemes for MSMEs. There are several more than you can check out at http://msme.gov.in/all-schemes. The Indian Government’s schemes are designed to help MSMEs evaluate their operations, secure hassle-free credit, organize better operations and build patentable products. In regards to securing hassle-free credit, a NBFC like www.prestloans.com   is very effective. The dual impact of a good scheme and a committed financial partner like NBFC can help an MSME to skyrocket its growth journey.

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Role of NBFCs in the growth of micro enterprises

Introduction

India has always been home to a vibrant spectrum of microenterprises even before that term became popular in mainstream economics. The small business sector in India is deeply rooted in familial customs and niche skills. Today, that sector has been recognized as a legitimate business sector with its own set of nuanced workings. This sector now includes 51 million microenterprises, each with its specific need for credit. These microenterprises were traditionally not financed by banks due to the need of too many financial documents and credit records.  Non-Banking Financial Corporations (NBFCs) are offering more interesting propositions to these microenterprises. NBFCs are playing an increasingly important role in the growth of microenterprises.

Why microenterprises favor NBFCs

Microenterprises are generally categorized under the riskier borrower segments of banks. While many banks have their own MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) divisions, their drive towards evaluating the low-credit health applications of microenterprises is limited. The reason for the low-credit health is the non-availability of the traditional means of collateral. NBFCs are however, more innovative towards the evaluation of the credit risk. Factors like the business stability (which may be undocumented), family repute, product idea or market monopoly are hard to weigh on a credit scoring scale. NBFCs today carry the expertise and the technology to evaluate these seemingly unquantifiable parameters and arrive at an informed decision about the credit health of microenterprises. The banks generally fail to make such judgments or find the loan application to be too risky by their measures.

 Due to this difference in the approach towards lending, the banks’ total share in the loan market fell from 49% to 28% according to a report (https://www.bcg.com/documents/file15284.pdf) by the Boston Consulting Group. The same report also states that the share of NBFCs rose from 21% to an impressive 44%. This happened in just three years, between 2014 and 2017. 

NBFCs are also being favored by the younger entrepreneurial populace, which has taken a liking to the lesser bureaucracy and flexibility of NBFCs. The same report states that NBFCs had the lion’s share of the market for loans to persons aged between 21 and 35, at 49%.

Why NBFCs favor microenterprises

Most microenterprises seek loans under project finance, equipment finance or loan against property (LAP). In these three categories, LAPs are the most popular amongst microenterprises, where the business owner’s residential or commercial property is put up as collateral. The rate of delinquency for microenterprises are in the range of 7.4% to 8.1% as against the much more discouraging figures of 12.25% to 22.3% for large corporates. This is ironic because, microenterprises get routinely turned down to their perceived credit health issues, the keyword here being ‘perceived’. NBFCs favor microenterprises because they have the analytics to tell them the real story and not just consider the presence of large office space or employee strength.

NBFCs are also generally working with lesser opex, more flexibility and greater agility. These factors lead to NBFCs being comfortable with the microenterprise lending arena, which would generally discourage a bank. Microenterprises also offer partnership options or profit-sharing options to NBFCs that seem attractive because of the entrepreneurial spirit that NBFCs yearn to kindle. These kind of benefits are different from the traditional money-lending advantages, that NBFCs make ample use of.

The introduction of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) is a move that has placed the transactions of many undocumented microenterprises on the map. NBFCs are able to view the business activity of a microenterprise with much greater clarity than before.

NBFC 2.0 are attracting more microenterprises

The marriage of financial technology and the existing set of financial services that NBFCs provide is churning out more futuristic companies that are said to be a part of NBFC 2.0. These companies are using a mix of different analytics’ tools to conduct their credit health check. By checking the website traffic of the microenterprise, the social media activity, the track record of the entrepreneurs, the innovation introduced in the product or service, NBFC 2.0 is processing loan applications at a much quicker pace. This is helping the growth of microenterprises which in turn feeds back to the growth of NBFCs. NBFCs are also growing in terms of technology and expertise and not just size. This growth is helping them become better at providing financial services to microenterprises.

Conclusion

NBFCs will continue to do better in the microenterprises’ arena compared to their banking counterparts. They already have a competitive market share that is only expected to grow as microenterprises become more familiar to the nation and the economy.

The quickness to respond, utilization of technology, analysis of non-standard credit health aspects and desire to innovate will make NBFCs, preferred choice for credit for microenterprises.

 

Prest Loans (www.prestloans.com) is a new age Fintech NBFC that uses technology and analytics to provide easy finance options to MSMEs.

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NBFCs and beyond: The smart way to get loans for SMEs

NBFCs and beyond: The smart way to get loans for SMEs

Emergence and importance of NBFCs 

SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) in India account for 30% of the entire production volume and generate 55 million jobs. These are the official documented figures however there is a large amount of undocumented, unreported amount of business that happens every day in the nation that shapes its economic identity. SMEs are important part of the economy and their ability to get loans is an important determinant to how well they do which in turn has a direct impact on the nation’s economic prosperity. Traditionally, SMEs would approach banks to offer them loans. That particular scenario is rapidly changing due to the emergence of NBFCs (Non-Banking Financial Companies) in the scene.

What are NBFCs and what are their advantages

A NBFC is a setup which has the ability to lend money and engage in a few banking activities as well. But a NBFC doesn’t own a banking license. So they are not allowed to take deposits from the populace. Their range of services (outside lending) generally involve underwriting, retirement planning services and consultation on mergers. NBFCs are fast growing in India due a number of advantages that they offer. 

These are a few advantages that NBFCs offer over traditional banking institutions.

1) Use of technology: NBFCs rely on technology to execute a significant portion of the legwork that is imperative for any loan disbursement process. Employing technology also means that NBFCs can support more customers, in a more effective manner by the use of automation in their process. This also helps better the customer experience.

2) Faster decision making or lesser turnaround time (TAT):  NBFCs have a faster decision making process due to the employment of technology and because of better processes. The latter is because of lending being their primary business. The faster decision making also comes from the experience that NBFCs carry in making a sound credit judgment about applicants.

3) Use ofalternate data: NBFCs rely on alternate data to evaluate a loan application. This alternate data includes information about credit card transactions, point of sale transactions, social media activity, browsing patterns, email receipts etc. This leads to more innovative analysis to happen on the applicants’ data and allows for greater flexibility in the adjudication of credit heath.

4) Less scrutiny and regulation- While this raises some important issues that we will examine later, the less regulated space that NBFCs operate in allows SMEs to secure loans more easily than they would, from a bank. NBFCs can allow for lesser collateral and a less healthy credit score to be approved for a loan.

5) Smoother application process- Banks have a lot of business sectors and a bunch of financial offerings. Money-lending is the prime business driver for NBFCs. Hence, NBFCs have better aligned processes and a more dedicated workforce for the lending operation. As a result, the process to apply to a NBFC is generally easier and the turnaround time is quicker.

6) Financial consultation- Many popular NBFCs (this is a concept that has come from the West) offer financial consultation with the lending services. This financial consultation is provided to help the SMEs succeed in their chosen business field, which makes the investment more profitable.

7) Less or no hidden charges- NBFCs are innovating to get rid of those hidden charges (called premiums or special fees) that quickly discourage SMEs from proceeding with a loan application. These hidden charges are actually completely avoidable if the right credit check mechanism is used.

8) Smoother credit check- NBFCs have to be nimbler in the entire loan approval process. Many NBFCs today are employing sophisticated credit checks to shorten the entire process. This is becoming increasingly popular with the advent of FinTech (financial technology).

Importance of checks and balances

NBFCs are not new in any aspect. In the US for example, NBFCs (or rather NBFIs, as they are known there) are very commonplace. They came into the limelight of notoriety after the crash of 2008. That has called for stricter regulations in place and better credit checking to be done. The sub-prime mortgage loans were given out to entities with shady credit scores and without the right regulations in place, the lenders were able to get away with lending to sub-prime loan seekers. This information has had a direct impact on the global scene of NBFCs (and in India) where with their growth, there is also the need to have the right checks and balances.

NBFCs and FinTech – a great match for SMEs

It is in this regard where technology offers compelling solutions for NBFCs. The checks to make sure that the applicants have a healthy credit score are important while the time needed to process an application needs to be less, to beat the competition. Automated integration with credit checking entities like CIBIL or Equifax comes of immense value. The entire process of going through pages over pages of documentation is immediately lessened with one simple data fetch from the credit bureaus that tell the NBFC of the credit score of the applicant. This is one of major benefits of technology which is why many NBFCs are turning to FinTech to automate some of their lending processes. New age NBFC companies like Prest Loans are doing extremely well in this segment by using alternate data and innovative analytics technology to pull up valuable insights from those data points. They are also gradually cultivating a culture of symbiosis, by helping the SMEs grow with their own growth. This further sharpens the technology they use and makes them better lenders than their banking counterparts.

NBFCs will continue to be a great help to SMEs in securing sure and timely loans. As the SME sector grows, NBFCs will have to scale up to meet the increasing credit demand and disburse loans, backed with the right checks and balances.

Prest Loans is a leading RBI registered NBFC based in Delhi. “Prest” means ‘to stands for’ or be Ready. It also means advance of money or loan. Prest Loans is a new age FinTech NBFC that provides all kinds of loans to support and encourage small and mid-sized businesses.

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जीएसटी (GST) को बनायें फ़ायदे का सौदा 

कल यूँ ही ऑफिस के कॉरिडोर से गुज़रते हुए तीन लोगों को जीएसटी (GST) के बारे में बात करते हुए सुना. उनमे से दो छोटे व्यापारी थे जिनका अपना जनरल स्टोर व गाड़ियों की पार्ट्स का व्यापार था व तीसरा हमारे ऑफिस का क्रेडिट मेनेजर था, जो पूरी लगन के साथ उन दोनों को जीएसटी में रजिस्ट्रेशन कराने तथा प्रेस्टलोन्स से लोन लेने के फ़ायदे समझा रहा था. अधिक जानने पर पता चला कि उन्हें प्रेस्टलोन्स से लोन लेने के फायदे तो समझ आ रहे थे लेकिन हाल ही में सरकार द्वारा लागू किये गए ‘गुड्स एंड सर्विस टैक्स’ (GST) को लेकर उनके मन में कई सवाल व उलझनें थी जिन्हें हमारा क्रेडिट मैनजेर सुलझाने में लगा हुआ था. 

जीएसटी (GST) यानि ‘गुड्स एंड सर्विस टैक्स’, जिसे भारत सरकार द्वारा एक बहुत बड़े कर सुधार के रूप में 1 जुलाई 2017 से लागू किया जा चुका है. यह एक ऐसा एकीकृत टैक्स है जो वस्तुओं और सेवाओं दोनों पर लगता है. अर्थात अब एक्साइज ड्यूटी, सेवा कर, वैट, मनोरंजन कर आदि की जगह पर सिर्फ एक टैक्स हैं, वस्तु एवं सेवा कर (GST). इसको लेकर लोगों में जितनी दिलचस्पी है उतनी ही भ्रांतियां भी है. ख़ासकर व्यापारी वर्ग के मन में इसको लेकर कई तरह के सवाल जन्म ले रहें हैं, जैसे, जीएसटी का क्या मतलब है? इसका व्यापार पर क्या असर होगा? या फ़िर अभी तक चले आ रहे बाकी टैक्सेज से यह कितना अलग है? उनके मन में चल रहे इन्हीं सवालों की वजह से जीएसटी के प्रति व्यापारियों में रोष व्याप्त हो गया है और वह इसके खिलाफ़ विरोध पर उतर आये है.

बात करें पहले लगाये जाने वाले बाकि टैक्सेज जैसे- एक्साइज ड्यूटी, सेवा कर, वैट आदि की तो इसके बारे में भी व्यापरियों को गहरी जानकारी नहीं थी, चूंकि यह टैक्स लम्बे समय से चले रहे थे इसीलिए कहीं न कहीं इसको उन्होंने अपनी आदत में शामिल कर लिया था. यही वजह है की जीएसटी को वह स्वीकार नहीं कर पा रहें हैं, जिसके परिणाम स्वरुप नुकसान उन्हीं को उठाना पड़ रहा, इससे अच्छा यही है की सरकार द्वारा लागू किये इस टैक्स को वह सहर्षता के साथ स्वीकार करें व इसको समझने की सकारात्मक कोशिश करें. 

यहाँ समझने वाली बात यह है कि सरकार ने व्यापारियों के हितों को ध्यान में रखते हुए और नए सिस्टम को अच्छे से समझने के लिए सभी व्यापारियों को पहले 2 महीने में जीएसटी रिटर्न फाइल करने से छूट दे रखी है. इसके अलावा किसी भी व्यापार को शुरू करने से पहले जहाँ व्यापारी को एक्साइज ड्यूटी, सेवा कर, वैट आदि अलग-अलग रजिस्ट्रेशन कराने पड़ते थे वही सरकार ने इससे राहत प्रदान करते हुए अब सिर्फ एक रजिस्ट्रेशन ही अनिवार्य किया है और वो है जीएसटी. साथ ही सरकार ने जीएसटी से सम्बंधित किसी भी समस्या के समाधान के लिए जगह-जगह जीएसटी सेवा केंद्र खोल रखे हैं. व्यापारी इनके कॉल सेंटर में फ़ोन करके या ख़ुद केन्द्रों पर जाकर अपने सवालों का जवाब प्राप्त कर सकते हैं. 

व्यापारी वर्ग के लिए यह जानना बहुत ज़रूरी है कि जीएसटी के तहत सरकार ने कारोबारियों की कुछ श्रेणियां बनायीं है जिनके अंतर्गत ऐसे छोटे व्यापारियों को शामिल किया गया है, जिनका सालाना टर्न ओवर या तो 20 लाख तक है या फिर 20 से 75 लाख तक है. जहां तक 20 लाख से नीचे के दुकानदारों की बात है तो बता दें कि उनके ऊपर जीएसटी टैक्स का कोईफर्क नहीं पड़ा है,पहले भी वो टैक्स नहींदेते थे और अब भी वह जीएसटी की छूट वाली श्रेणी में ही आते है. ऐसे में 20 लाख तक सालाना टर्नओवरवाले कारोबारियों पर जीएसटी का कोई असर नहीं पड़ा है.

वहीँ 20 से 75 लाख तक सालाना टर्नओवर वाले व्यापारियों को पहले सामान बेचने पर वैट और कई दूसरे टैक्स देने पड़ते थे, अब जीएसटी में रजिस्ट्रेशन कराने के बाद ये ग्राहकों से जीएसटी चार्ज कर पाएंगे और इनपुट क्रेडिट भी ले पाएंगे या सरकार की कंपोजिट स्कीम लेकर उन्हें सालानाटर्नओवर का सिर्फ 0.5 फीसदी टैक्स देना पड़ेगा, यानि 75 लाख के टर्नओवर पर सालाना 37500 रूपए टैक्स देना होगा. एक तरीके से देखें तो कोई ख़ास बदलाव नहीं हुआ है. जहाँ तक बात रही रिटर्न फ़ाइल करने की या फिर टैक्स भरने की तो पहले से ही यह काम व्यापारियों के चार्टेड अकाउंटेंट या फिर कंसलटेंट करते आ रहे थे जो कि अभी भी जारी है. ऐसे में व्यापारी वर्ग को यह  ज़िम्मेदारी उन्हीं पर छोड़ देनी चहिये. क्यूंकि इसके खिलाफ़ हड़ताल या दुकानें बंद करके उनका ही नुकसान हो रहा है.

प्रेस्टलोन्स (PrestLoans) जैसी NBFC कंपनी का मानना है कि व्यापारी यदि जीएसटी में रजिस्ट्रेशन करा लेंगें तो यह उनकी तरफ से लिया गया एक सकारात्मक कदम होगा. यह शुरू में भले ही थोडा कष्टदायक लगता है लेकिन दीर्घकाल में इसका सबसे अधिक फायदा व्यापारी बंधुओं को ही होगा.व्यापार का सारा विवरण रिकॉर्ड में होने के कारण सस्ती दर पर आसानी से लोन ले पाएंगे क्योंकि इन व्यापारियों के प्रति प्रेस्टलोन्स जैसी NBFC कंपनी का विश्वास भी बढ़ेगा. अगर आप जीएसटी रजिस्टर्ड हैं तो माना जायेगा कि आप सही तरीके से व्यापर कर रहे हैं. सिर्फ इतना ही नहीं जीएसटी में एक रेटिंग सिस्टम भी है और मेरा ऐसा मानना है कि जीएसटी की रेटिंग के हिसाब से ही बैंक और NBFC व्यापारियों की रेटिंग करेंगे और उन्हें उसी तरीके से लोन भी देंगे जैसे ई- कॉमर्स में भी रिव्यू और रेटिंग सिस्टम से छोटे व्यापारियों को लोन मिला है इसीलिए व्यापारी वर्ग को यह टैक्स एक अवसर की तरह लेना चाहिए व ‘गुड्स एंड सर्विस टैक्स’ (GST) में जल्द से जल्द रजिस्ट्रेशन करवाना चाहिए.  

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छोटे व्यापारियों की समस्याएँ व समाधान

सुबह की चाय हो या शाम की चाट, घर में इस्तेमाल होने वाले बर्तन हों या गाड़ियों में लगने वाले कवर, ये सभी चीज़ें हमारी रोजाना की ज़िन्दगी का एक अटूट हिस्सा हैं और हम तक इन्हें पहुँचाने का काम करते हैं वो छोटे व्यापारी जिनका व्यवसाय हमारी ज़रूरतों पर फलता-फूलता है. ये व्यापार कोई भी हो सकता है जैसे दूध, ब्रेड, किराने की दुकान, स्टेशनरी, चमड़ा, दुपहिया व चार पहिया गाड़ियों के पार्ट्स, आर्टिफीशियल ज्यूलरी आदि. ऐसे कई व्यापार चलाने वाले छोटे-छोटे व्यापारी हमें अपने आस-पास मिल जायेंगे.   

इस तरह के सभी व्यापारी अपना व्यवसाय चलाने के लिए नक़द लेनदेन पर निर्भर हैं. शिक्षा के अभाव के चलते ये व्यापारी बैंकिंग सुविधा इस्तेमाल करने से कतराते हैं. नकदी में काम करते हुए सालाना 3 से 4 लाख कमाने वाले ये छोटे व्यापारी इनकम टैक्स के दायरे में भी नहीं आते या यूँ कह लें कि बैंक के चक्कर लगाना या लाइन में खड़ा होना इनके लिए समय की बर्बादी जैसा है. ऐसे में अपना व्यापार बढ़ाने के लिए उन्हें लोन की आवश्यकता होती है तो वह बैंक के पास नहीं जा सकते क्यूंकि बैंक उन्हें लोन देने के लिए बैंक की ट्रांज़ेक्शन सहित बिल व इनकम टैक्स रिटर्न और वैट व सेल्स टैक्स भरने जैसी जानकारियों की डिमांड करेगा जोकि कागज़ी तौर पर उनके पास मौजूद नहीं होती हैं. अच्छा व्यापार होने के बावजूद डाक्यूमेंट्स की कमी के चलते कोई भी बैंक इन्हें व्यापार में बढ़ोत्तरी के लिए लोन नहीं देता है.  

इस स्थिति में छोटे व्यापारियों की समस्या का समाधान करती है प्रेस्टलोन्स (PrestLoans) जैसी एनबीएफसी (NBFC) कंपनी. जोकि ऐसे व्यापारियों से मिलकर उनकी समस्याओं को समझने की कोशिश करती है. उनके पास रोज़ आने वाले ग्राहकों से लेकर उनकी सेल व बचे हुए स्टॉक का मूल्यांकन करते हुए उनके प्रॉफिट मार्जिन को समझती है. साथ ही उनकी खरीद-फ़रोख्त, लाभ-हानि को देखते हुए उनके व्यापार की बैलेंस शीट व वास्तविक नक़द व्यापार का मूल्यांकन भी करती है जो वह छोटा व्यापारी नहीं कर पा रहा.  

ऐसे में प्रेस्टलोन्स का क्रेडिट मैनेजर उधारकर्ता की पूँजी की आवश्यकता व व्यापार बढ़ाने के लिए लगने वाली रकम की ज़रूरत को समझने की कोशिश करता है. वह लोन देने से पहले उनकी वित्तीय ज़रूरतों को परखने के साथ ही कुछ और ज़रूरी जानकारियों पर भी पैनी नज़र रखता है जैसे: उधारकर्ता कितने साल से इस व्यापार में है, उसका व्यवहार व उसका सामाजिक दायरा कैसा है, वह उधार चुकाने के काबिल है या नहीं व उधार चुकाना चाहता है या नहीं आदि. क्यूंकि नए ज़माने की फिनटेक (FinTech) कंपनियां आर्थिक आंकड़ों के अलावा अन्य सामाजिक एवं व्यक्तिगत आंकड़ों पर ज्यादा ध्यान देती हैं. 

सभी जानकारियों को अच्छे से परख लेने के बाद PrestLoans इन छोटे व्यापरियों को उनका व्यापार बढ़ाने के लिए लोन देकर वित्तीय सहायता प्रदान करता है. यदि उनके पास व्यापार सम्बंधित कागज़ी सबूत न भी हो तो भी उधारकर्ता लोन के बदले अपने घर/दुकान के कागज़ या अपना स्टॉक प्रेस्टलोन्स के पास सुरक्षा के तौर पर गिरवी रख सकता है. अधिकतर मामलों में यह लोन बिना किसी गिरवी के भी होता है. लेकिन इस वित्तीय सहायता से ऐसे सभी छोटे व्यापारियों का व्यापार मुख्य धारा में आना मुमकिन हो पाता है. इस तरह उनके व्यापार में तरक्की तो होती ही है साथ ही वह नक़द व्यापार करना भी कम कर देतें हैं, जिससे समाज का विकास होता है और समाज का विकास ही देश का विकास है, जिसके लिए प्रेस्टलोन्स (PrestLoans) हमेशा ही तत्पर है. 

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