Reserve Bank of India Issues Fresh Guideline for Lenders Regarding Ease of Lending for MSMEs
RBI issues fresh guidelines for MSME Lenders regarding Udyam Registration Certificate.
In September 2021, the definition of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in India was governed by the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act, 2006 was updated.
In continuation to this, RBI has made a fresh set of recommendations to banks and lending agencies who are in the business of MSME loans. These recommendations are made considering two major goals. One is to ensure ease of doing business for MSMEs and ensure ease of lending as well. The second goal is to bring the unorganized sector into an organised one.
The fresh RBI notification came from the desk of Ms Nisha Nambiar, Chief General Manager of RBI. Here is the complete text of the notification:
- Please refer to the Circular FIDD.MSME & NFS.BC.No.4/06.02.31/2020-21 dated August 21, 2020 on ‘New Definition of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises – clarifications’ wherein all lenders were advised to obtain ‘Udyam Registration Certificate’ for classification of entities as MSME.
- The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (‘MSME’), Government of India has launched the Udyam Assist Platform (UAP) to facilitate formalisation of Informal Micro Enterprises (IMEs) through online generation of Udyam Assist Certificate. Registration on the platform is done with the assistance of Designated Agencies which are RBI regulated entities (including scheduled commercial banks, non-banking financial companies, etc.).
- The Government of India, vide Gazette Notification S.O. 1296(E) dated March 20, 2023, has specified that the certificate issued on the UAP to IMEs shall be treated at par with Udyam Registration Certificate for the purpose of availing Priority Sector Lending (PSL) benefits.
- Government of India has clarified to RBI that IMEs are those enterprises which are unable to get registered on the Udyam Registration Portal (URP) due to lack of mandatory required documents such as Permanent Account Number (PAN) or Goods and Services Tax Identification Number (GSTIN). Hence such enterprises are unable to avail the benefits of Government schemes or programmes. Further, it has been clarified that the turnover of enterprises exempted from filing returns under the provisions of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 shall be the sole criterion to be defined as IMEs for the purpose of UAP. Accordingly, IMEs are those enterprises that are not covered in the Goods and Services Tax regime.
- An interface has been created between the UAP and Udyam Registration Portal (URP) to enable the transition and migration of the IMEs from UAP to URP, once IMEs obtain the mandatorily required documents.
- In view of the aforementioned notification and clarification, IMEs with an Udyam Assist Certificate shall be treated as Micro Enterprises under MSME for the purposes of PSL classification.