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Credit and Finance for MSMEs: MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday urged chief ministers of all states to direct their state or union territory ministries and departments along with public sector units to clear pending payments to MSMEs on priority. Delaying payments (beyond 90 days of invoice date to MSMEs) by government departments and PSUs has been among the core issues putting the working capital flow of small businesses under stress. According to the delayed payment monitoring portal MSME Samadhaan, the number of delayed payment cases settled, ever since October 2017 when the portal was launched, has remained low at 22.3 per cent. Out of 16,196 cases filed in MSE Facilitation Council, only 3,614 cases involving Rs 672.71 crore have been disposed, according to the details available on the portal.
Addressing the virtual MSME Conclave, the minister said that all ministries, departments, and PSUs have been given instructions to clear pending bills of MSMEs within 45 days. Gadkari added that the government is also monitoring closely the cases filed on the Samadhaan portal. Buyers from MSMEs are currently required to pay for the goods within 45 days from invoice generation. In case of the inability to pay in the stipulated time, “every reference made to MSEFC shall be decided within a period of ninety days from the date of making such a reference as per provisions laid in the Act,” according to the portal.
Gadkari also said that the government is working on the idea of a land bank and social microfinance institution to help entrepreneurs who want to set-up small shops and businesses. With respect to handlooms and handicrafts sector, the minister said that handicrafts, khadi industries, handlooms and agro-based industries should be encouraged particularly in 115 aspirational districts for which “we will have to plan special policies for agricultural, rural and tribal sector because they have huge potential of creating employment,” he added.
Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare had last week said that it will invest close to Rs 25 crore in 234 startups in agriculture and allied sectors in FY21 under Innovation and Agri-entrepreneurship Development programme part of the ministry’s Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY). 112 startups have already got nearly Rs 12 crore in funding. Moreover, PM Narendra Modi on Sunday had said that around 350 agri startups have been supported fom the Rs 1 lakh crore financing facility launched under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund. “These startups are in food processing, AI, IoT, manufacturing of agri-related smart equipment, and renewable energy,” PM Modi had said.