Amitabh Kant led Empowered Group hears out MSME Associations to ‘unlock economy’
New Delhi, Sept 22 (KNN) The CEO of NITI Aayog and Chairman of Empowered Group-3 Amitabh Kant held detailed discussions with MSME associations to identify steps for unlocking the economy and strengthening the MSME sector.
The virtual meeting coordinated by Federation of Indian Micro and Small & medium Enterprises (FISME) was attended by representatives of over 50 leading associations of different sectors.
President FISME Dr. Animesh Saxena highlighted the demand hit which affected all MSMEs whether serving domestic market, supplying to Government or exporting.
“While the lockdowns muffled domestic demand except perhaps pharma and packaged food, the exports shrunk due to disruptions in supply chains and muted demand in western markets and Government procurement was hit because of restriction on movement of people and material”, he said.
To revive the economy FISME with spokespersons of sectors such as Leather, Electrical Industry, Food processing and Knitware industry, proposed a series of interventions in Public procurement, Banking & finance and Taxation.
Keeping in view that public procurement constitutes almost one third of GDP, by improving the quality of public procurement and its commercial practices, domestic enterprises could be supported and their capabilities built.
“Buying products at Lowest price (L1) and of low quality encourage only unscrupulous suppliers and hasten de-industrialization as soon the quality producers are forced out of business”, FISME contended.
It asked for a Mechanism to address the frequent complaints about Prequalification Requirements used by MNCs to crowd out MSMEs in public procurement. It further demanded that all Government buying entities both of center and state must be registered on TReDS platforms.
To reduce cost of Bank Guarantees (BGs), FISME sought permission for Insurance Companies to offer BGs as was done in many developed countries such as the USA.
Raja M Shanmungham of Tiruppur Exporters Association (TEA) said that MSME need another 6 month for moratorium to pay the loan amount.
Archana Bhatnagar, Association of Women Entrepreneur in MP said the Government departments were not following Public Procurement Policy for MSEs which mandated 3% procurement from women entrepreneurs.
Jayesh Rambhia, President of All India Plastic Manufacturers Association insisted that MSMEs be allowed to pay GST at the time of payment received instead, at the time of supply.
FISME has been tasked by the Empowered group to submit a consolidated charter of demands on behalf of MSMEs.