Take GST for example. The bill required the consent of both the houses of parliament by two-third majority, acceptance from more than half of the 29 states and 12 years of iterations before it was finally rolled out in August this year. Now that it has been passed, it’s here to stay until something more disruptive comes along.
As Member of Parliament and entrepreneur Rajeev Chandrasekhar aptly puts it, “Legislation is only the first step in the process. The hard part is shaping the GST regime and preparing businesses, consumers and taxmen for the changes ahead.”
A lot of stars need to align for the successful implementation of bills like GST. The readiness and acceptance of technology, the urgency of a strong use case or pain-point, the necessary regulations to implement processes and sustainable business models, consent and cooperation from financial institutions and trust from the end users. Seems like a herculean feat, isn’t it?
Financial reforms: Disruptive but shackled with bottlenecks
The success of a financial reform or innovation in India, like that of GST, is a slow and painful process.
A recent report by the Ministry of Finance throws light on why financial innovations often get stalled in India. As per the report, ‘Indian regulators are disproportionately focused on averting scams. This generates a regulatory bias of blocking innovation in order to be safe, and an industry bias of avoiding untested ideas since they expose firms to the risk of frauds.’
But if you think about this realistically, accidents will happen even with the best regulations in place.
Sadly in India, regulations have put so many roadblocks that innovation can only occur at a snail’s pace. Worse, the road to financial innovation cannot be traveled at a great speed since India’s financial institutions remain the equivalents of antediluvian Ambassadors and Fiats when the rest of the world is using BMWs and Ferraris.
A silver lining to the dark cloud
The benefit of having poor or rigid financial infrastructure is that once in a while — when people, pain-points, policy and timing align — a country can reboot and leap beyond the aforementioned bottlenecks. Today, the fintech revolution in India has been built outside the established ‘way of doing things’.
The Rise of the FinTech Startups: Key catalysts
Nimble and innovative, Indian FinTech startups are redesigning the financial space with their technological expertise. Some of the key triggers to the growth and success of FinTech startups
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