SIDBI Comes to the Aid of MSMEs, Set to Launch An All-Encompassing Digital Platform

SIDBI is set to launch an all-encompassing digital platform for MSMEs andSmall Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) on Tuesday said that it will be launching an all-encompassing digital platform for MSMEs and other stakeholders of the small business ecosystem to help them grow in the post Covid world. India SME Services Platform — the new portal “shall have all MSMEs, stakeholders of the MSME ecosystem, financiers, corporates, government, regulators, employees and associations converging on an interactive platform. This will be all at one place and one place for all kind of initiatives,” said Mohammad Mustafa, IAS, Chairman and Managing Director of SIDBI in a statement. For instance, MSMEs can access information on getting finance, eKYC, credit enhancement, support services including advisory, network access with other businesses etc. “We are planning to launch this around July but the exact date or week is not decided,” Ravindra Kumar Singh, General Manager and Head — Promotion and Development, SIDBI told Financial Express Online.

The portal would show a dashboard of all schemes launched by the central and state governments, banks, industry associations etc. Other services including automated accounting, tax reconciliation, cloud services, cybersecurity, video conferencing, online meetings, etc. are likely to be offered for free to small businesses in tie-up with fintech companies, industry bodies and corporates. “These shall help MSMEs to resume operations remotely,” SIDBI said.

Small businesses through multiple associations and industry bodies have urged the government for immediate financial relief to tide over lockdown crisis. Delayed payments from buyers, shrinking manpower, squeezed cash flows amid shutdowns have turned detrimental for MSMEs. MSME Minister recently had said that a financial package for small businesses is underway and is likely to be announced soon. “We have sent recommendations for a relief package to the Finance Minister and Prime Minister and I hope it will be announced soon. We will try to give relief to the extent possible,” the minister had said in a webinar hosted by the FICCI Ladies Organisation.

Through the all-in-one portal, SIDBI said the government can take and monitor actions on policies or programmes, tax measures and meeting sourcing requirements through procurements while regulators can tap macro-economic trends, compliances, risk management and systemic aspects on the platform. Further, MSME employees can seek skilling and upskilling, relocation support etc. “Financial institutions could consider a combination of eKYC and deferment of physical verification to scale up remote on-boarding. Turnaround time on loan decisioning is expected to be significantly reduced,” it added.

This comes days after SIDBI announced offering 90-day term loans to NBFCs, MFIs, scheduled commercial banks, and small finance banks for onward lending to MSMEs to fight Covid-19. In a circular released by SIDBI, it said that “the schemes would cover all eligible entities having investment-grade ratings irrespective of the size of the organization to ensure wider coverage.”

Source: Financial Express

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