The Asset Finance Association of India is an initiative by the Indian Securitisation Foundation to bring together the stakeholders of the asset finance sector in India. The organisation is intended to promote, help, develop, protect, encourage and secure, in India, general interest of various forms of asset backed funding by acting as industry association, to organize industry events, forums, discussions to promote research, generally to take care of the interest of trade, industry and commerce, stakeholders, participants and investors in asset finance and generally to act in the best interest of the Indian asset finance sector.
Primarily, the asset finance activities to be catered by the Association include leasing, factoring, trades in receivables, etc. While leasing is over 40 years old in the country, the taxation environment for the business has remained anomalous, for no obvious reason. This is one of the rare activities which is charged to tax both as a sale and a service. While judiciary may simply be doing interpretation of the law, the key issue is – whether there is a policy basis for creating a non-level playing field which puts leasing to such a disadvantage. If this was not enough, the recent Foreign Trade Policy (2015-2020) gave another blow to the industry by seeming to withdraw the EPCG benefits on leased assets.
Though there is a lot of hopeful wait in the introduction of Goods and Service Tax, but issue is, is leasing industry at all in the radar of the lawmakers, or they think positive about it? There is a substantial communication and advocacy issue in hand. There is no doubt that the interest in the leasing sector is increasing – quite obvious in an era where cashflows seem to be the only way to come out of stress. New entrants with substantial global presence and depth of international experience are entering the market, but they are often dismayed by the regulatory structure.
Factoring is yet another area where, despite an admittedly-supportive legislation, not much headway has been made in the recent years. The Association aims at bringing industry players on a common platform – to join their thoughts, and to provide a voice to their thoughts. The Association aims at providing a strong platform of advocacy for asset finance industry.
The scope of this organisation would include the following –
An initial membership fee of Rs 1,00,000/- (Rupees one lakh only) is proposed to be charged in the first year of membership of the association.
Annual membership fee is Rs 50,000/-