Centre notifies establishment of Credit Guarantee Scheme for Startups

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has notified the establishment of the Credit Guarantee Scheme for Startups (CGSS) for providing credit guarantees to loans extended by Scheduled Commercial Banks, Non-Banking Financial Companies and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) registered Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs), Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a statement.

Under this scheme government will provide credit guarantee up to a specified limit against loans extended by Member Institutions (MIs) to finance eligible borrowers viz. Startups as defined in the Gazette Notification issued by DPIIT and amended from time to time, it added.

This scheme would help provide the much needed collateral-free debt funding to startups, it added.

“The credit guarantee cover under the Scheme would be transaction based and umbrella based. The exposure to individual cases would be capped at Rs. 10 crore per case or the actual outstanding credit amount, whichever is less,” ministry said.

In respect of transaction-based guarantee cover, the guarantee cover is obtained by the MIs on single eligible borrower basis. Transaction based guarantees will promote lending by Banks/ NBFCs to eligible startups.

“The extent of transaction-based cover will be 80% of the amount in default if the original loan sanction amount is up to Rs. 3 crore, 75% of the amount in default if the original loan sanction amount is above Rs. 3 crore, and up to Rs. 5 crore, and 65% of the amount in default if the original loan sanction amount is above Rs. 5 crore (up to Rs. 10 crore per borrower),” the ministry said.

The umbrella-based guarantee cover will provide guarantee to Venture Debt Funds (VDF) registered under AIF regulations of SEBI (a growing segment of funding in Indian startup ecosystem), in view of the nature of funds raised by them and debt funding provided by them.

“The extent of umbrella-based cover will be the actual losses or up to a maximum of 5% of Pooled Investment on which cover is being taken from the fund in eligible startups, whichever is lower, subject to a maximum of Rs.10 crore per borrower,” the ministry said.

Along with institutional mechanisms for operationalizing the Scheme, DPIIT will be constituting a Management Committee (MC) and a Risk Evaluation Committee (REC) for reviewing, supervising and operational oversight of the Scheme. The National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Limited (NCGTC) will be operating the Scheme.

With the objective of mobilising domestic capital for Indian startups, CGSS will complement the existing Schemes under Startup India initiative viz. Fund of Funds for Startups and Startup India Seed Fund Scheme.

The framework of CGSS has been prepared in extensive consultations with the stakeholdersover the years with line ministries, banks, NBFCs, venture debt funds, academia and experts from startup ecosystem. The scheme will act as a key enabler and risk mitigation measure for the lending institutionsenabling collateral free funding to startups.

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