CTA President Inaugurates Gangjong Development Finance Pvt. Ltd.

January 17, 2018

From left: Finance Secretary Trinley Gyatso, Finance Kalon Karma Yeshi, CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay, MFin expert Alok Prasad, and Chief planning Officer Dr Kunchok Tsundue at the press conference on 17 January 2018. Photo/Tenzin Phende/DIIR

DHARAMSHALA: President Dr Lobsang Sangay of the Central Tibetan Administration today inaugurated Gangjong Development Finance Private ltd, a non-banking financial corporation of the Department of Finance, Central Tibetan Administration.

The inauguration was announced at a press conference attended by the three Board of Directors namely Finance Kalon Karma Yeshi, Chief Planning Officer Dr Kunchok Tsundue and Alok Prasad, a renowned MFin expert. Finance Secretary Trinley Gyatso was also present. The new company is registered under the Companies Act administered by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India.

Addressing the press conference, President Dr Lobsang Sangay said the Gangjong Development Finance Pvt. Ltd. is the culmination of a series of deliberations by successive Kashags over the need of a financial corporation in the Tibetan community. He said this initiative is part of the Kashag's 5/50 vision and the principle of self-reliance, one of the three guiding principles of the Kashag.

"This is one of the most strategic programmes of CTA conceived and designed to drive forward the Kashag's 5/50 policy addressing the critical need of financial literacy and inclusion services for Tibetans in general and Tibetan enterprises and start-ups in particular," he said.

"Under this initiative, we have already rolled out a 100-million rupees loan scheme for Tibetan hosiery and sweater traders at a relatively low interest rate of 3%. The scheme was highly successful with at least 90% of the loans already recovered," he added.

"With the success of the sweater seller loan scheme, we are now planning to expand the next scheme to 200 million rupees covering not just Tibetan sweater sellers but also Tibetan-owned micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), and education loans," Dr Sangay explained.

The Board of Directors of Gangjong Development Finance Pvt. Ltd lighting butter lamps in front of a portrait of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on 17 January 2018. Photo/ Tenzin Phende/ DIIR

However, he added that the details of the scheme would be announced following an in-depth assessment by the board members including market research, consultations and need analysis of the applicants.

"The formal registration of the Gangjong Development Finance Pvt. Ltd is only the first step. Our hope is that it will become a normal commercial bank after several years," he said.

Finance Kalon Karma Yeshi said that the most important objective of the company is to strengthen Tibetan economy and transform it into an economically self-reliant community, eradicating the dependence syndrome prevalent among many.

He lauded the public for participating in the Tibetan hosiery loan scheme, and the fact that 90% of the loan is recovered is a testament to the fact that Tibetans are by and large trustworthy.

"Unlike normal banks, we haven't asked for any collateral when the loans are provided. Trust was the only collateral that we sought and was repaid with," he said.

He also informed that about 40% of the loans were given to women-led enterprises which not only helped economic advancement of the Tibetan community but also empowerment of women in the community.

Finance Kalon further spoke about the finance department's various other initiatives to sensitise Tibetan public about the new financial rules and regulation announced by the Indian government such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST). He spoke about the month-long GST training provided by the department to a select group of field officers who will then go on to help the Tibetan public in the settlements.

From left: Chief Resilience Officer Kaydor Aukartsang, Finance Secretary Trinley Gyatso, Finance Kalon Karma Yeshi, CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay, MFin expert Alok Prasad, Chief Planning Officer Dr Kunchok Tsundue with staff of Department of Finance. Photo/Tenzin Phende/ DIIR

In his address, Chief Planning Officer Dr Kunchok Tsundue said that the registration of the NBFC is the first step towards the company becoming a full-fledged bank.

He said the formation of the company is part of the Kashag's 5/50 vision to strengthen Tibetan economy and alleviate the economic hardships faced by Tibetans in exile.

He also explained the differences between a normal commercial bank and an NBFC.

"The only difference is that normal banks accept deposits and give withdrawal facilities. However, in the case of an NBFC, deposit and withdrawal facility is not available but you can buy shares of the company," he said.