100 per cent increase seen during Covid in delayed payment complaints filed by MSMEs in Facilitation Councils
New Delhi, Mar 5 (KNN) Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi and MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari request to clear MSME dues on time, it seems that buyers have turned deaf ear to their pleas as the number of delayed payment applications filed by micro and small sellers in MSE Facilitation Councils (MSEFC) has increased to 70,545 applications involving Rs 19,568.96 crore till date, showed government data.
According to MSME Ministry’s delayed payment monitoring system MSME Samadhaan, the jump in the number of applications disposed by MSEFC has been higher at 109 per cent from 3,012 applications to 6,311 applications during the said period. The amount involved in applications disposed was Rs 972 crore as of March 4, 2021, up 66.7 per cent from Rs 583.27 crore as of March 4, 2020.
MSEFCs were set-up by the government for settling disputes on delayed payments filed by MSEs. After the applications are received, they are sent to be examined by the respective MSEFC of the state/district. For relevant applications, the buyers are directed to pay the amount along with the interest for failing to pay the amount within 45 days of acceptance of goods bought from MSEs. The council has to decide upon the application within 90 days from the date of making such a reference as per provisions laid in the MSME Act.
In September last year, citing legal provisions under MSMED Act, 2006, the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) had asked top 500 corporates to clear dues of cash-starved small firms and vendors.
In e-letters sent out to top bosses of the big companies, the Ministry headed by Nitin Gadkari has said that payment of past dues is very important for MSMEs' survival. It has advised them to release the payment at the earliest.
The government had also reminded Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and other companies to join the bill discounting platform TReDS as buyers to help ease working capital stress among MSMEs.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman too had in May last year as well asked government bodies to clear pending MSME dues within 45 days.