MSME - #SectorUpdates
The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) decision to include the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) as the latest Financial Information Provider (FIP) under the Account Aggregator (AA) framework has been hailed as a major push to further ease access to bank credit by MSMEs. GSTN is the non-profit and non-government organization that manages the entire IT system of the GST portal. Account aggregators (AAs) are a new class of non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) that offers account aggregation services — retrieving or collecting information of its customer pertaining to their financial assets or information and consolidating, organizing, presenting it to the customer (for instance a bank) or any other person as per the instructions of the customer — in exchange for a fee. The consent-based information collected is in respect of MSMEs’ bank or NBFC deposits, SIPs, government securities, equity shares, bonds, mutual funds, insurance policies, exchange traded funds (ETFs), debentures, etc. With the latest announcement by RBI, GST Returns, viz. form GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B would also be available as information as GSTN joins the list of existing FIPs such as banks, NBFCs, asset management companies, depositories, insurance companies, pension funds, etc., providing related information to AAs.