Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), the principal financial institution engaged in the promotion, financing and development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), has sanctioned financial assistance of Rs 650 crore to two small finance banks (SFBs), AU Small Finance Bank and Jana Small Finance Bank.SIDBI, in a release on Tuesday, said it has sanctioned the financial assistance to the two small finance banks so as to reach out, through the SFBs, to small-sized Non-Banking Financial Companies(NBFCs)/Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs), who in turn provide financial assistance to the small businesses and micro entrepreneurs.
“The role of relatively smaller NBFCs and MFIs, which usually operate in remote geographies (including credit deficient, backward and aspirational districts), in the socio-economic development of the country is well established. They normally cater to the informal MSME sector, especially new to credit businesses, small retail trade, micro credit and other small household businesses etc. in the hinterland due to their unique advantage of ‘next-door’ presence and accumulated knowledge about their clientele over a period of time (as compared to banks and larger NBFCs),” it said in a release.
The Covid-19 pandemic has adversely impacted the businesses of MSMEs, leading to slow-down in income generation activities of these small businesses and micro enterprises. This has further adversely affected the collections and liquidity position of the NBFCs and MFIs. The smaller NBFCs/MFIs, in particular, have always faced challenges in accessing adequate institutional funding and generally source their funds support from other larger and well-established non-banking companies/SFBs.
Talking about the assistance being extended by way of this double intermediation measure, Sivasubramanian Ramann, chairman & managing director, SIDBI said, “The move is expected to benefit more than 40 small-sized NBFCs/MFIs which will help in mitigating the hardships being faced by such NBFCs/MFIs in garnering resources for their businesses.”Ramann informed an amount of Rs 530 crore has already been released to these SFBs. “The financial assistance has been extended out of the Special Liquidity Facility of Rs 16,000 crore sanctioned by the Reserve Bank of India (SBI) to SIDBI to meet the challenges being faced by the MSMEs due to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic situation,” he added.