Entrepreneurs Cheer As Government Draws Plans To Back Blockchain
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The Union Budget 2018-19 had a list of polices dedicated to supporting the MSMEs of the country. A special one among them was the government's support of fintech in MSMEs lending space.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also hinted at upcoming initiatives the could groom the digital ecosystem of India.
In his last full-fledged budget under the present government’s term, Jaitley said, “A group in the Ministry of Finance is examining the policy and institutional development measures needed for creating the right environment for Fintech companies to grow in India.”
Decoding the statement, Rohit Lohia, Co-Founder and COO, CoinTribe says the announcement is the government’s recognition of the sector's systemic.
“The sector will have a lot of expectations from the group - easing consent-based access to government or utility records of an individual or a business, increased formalization and registration of businesses, dematerialization of property records that can act as collateral, boosting of working capital financing through empowered TReDs,” he added.
Presently, Indian fintech companies get a very limited support with respect to digital documentation and its acceptance, legally. Therefore, Bhavin Patel, Founder & CEO, LenDenClub feels if government takes required action in this direction as it will lead to optimum utilization of time and effort towards effective planning and execution of business models.
“Additionally, the government can also create a stringent legal structure around the recovery of defaulters’ money, so as to enhance trust in the segment. Such moves will increase fintech growth and penetration in the country, multifold. Digital documentation & faster legal recovery resolution will definitely push P2P lending platforms to take their business to non-urban areas and village, boosting the overall growth of the segment,” he said to Entrepreneur India.
Aye To Blockchain
While Jaitley refused to embrace cryptocurrency, he said the government was open to the idea of blockchain and was ready to explore the potential use cases.
Jesse Chenard, Co-Founder and CEO of MonetaGo believes 2018 will definitely see a rise in the scope of work in the said space wherein different industries may go for PoCs to test the efficiency of the blockchain technology in respective use cases.
Going into 2018, more banks are seeking to use this technology to transform parts of their business, especially to reduce frauds, he shared.
Blockchain technology can be used across sect education, aviation, healthcare, infrastructure like roads and rails, among other segments. The technology has the capacity to reduce government's burden on the treasury by using it to attain funding and financing for micro to macro-projects in education, healthcare or infrastructure to begin with.
State Governments of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have already embraced the possibilities of blockchain by testing it for land deals. Similarly, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis too welcomed the technology by saying it will reduce trust deficit.
Post the budget announcements, even Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted in support of blockchain in healthcare space.
"With blockchain healthcare applications, the quality of healthcare is predicted to rise, and the risks and costs are likely to go down. And as you probably know that data stored on blockchains can be shared in real time across a group of people or institutions." his tweet read.
XinFin’s Atul Khekade pointed out that the large part of the budget focused on rural areas and upliftment of the less-privileged gestates of the society and we can achieve to bridge that gap using blockchain too – by eliminating intermediaries in farm supply chain and finance.
Blockchain at large will see a big role in the country in the coming days with the ability to transform every industry with more transparency, efficiency and high fraud prevention.
But the large question is - can the government bridge the needs of MSMEs, farmers and underprivileged section of the society with blockchain technology and witness some ground-level growth? Well, only time can tell!