After PSUs, MSME Ministry train guns on 500 corporates for unpaid MSME dues; asks to pay ‘at earliest

Credit and Finance for MSMEs: After taking up the issue of pending MSME payments with government organisations and central public sector enterprises (CPSE), the Ministry of MSME has now asked private buyers to clear MSME dues “at the earliest,” it said on Monday. The ministry said that it has written e-letters to “the owners, CMDs or top executives” of the top 500 corporate groups in India as “many of the MSMEs are doing business with big corporate groups. However, the payments are not coming from buyers and users of their goods and services,” the ministry said in a statement. According to the MSME Ministry’s delayed payment monitoring portal MSME Samadhaan, 3,899 complaints involving Rs 715 crore have been settled by MSE Facilitation Councils out of 54,241 complaints involving Rs 15,840 crore filed. Also, 9,296 applications have been rejected while 4,764 have been mutually settled with the buyer.

Last month addressing a CII initiative for liquidity infusion in MSMEs, MSME Secretary AK Sharma had said that almost 75 per cent of the total pending dues has been cleared through the online reporting mechanism, as per a statement by the industry association quoting Sharma. The ministry reminded corporates of the legal provisions under the MSME Development Act, 2006 which mandate payments to MSMEs for goods and services bought within 45 days.

The ministry also reminded private firms to join the trade receivables financing (TReDS) platforms, to solve delayed payment issue, as it was made mandatory by the government in 2018 for all CPSEs and corporates with over Rs 500 crore turnover. “However, many corporates are yet to join it or transact thereon. They have been requested to onboard their companies on the TReDS and start transacting,” the ministry added. Small business lender SIDBI had in June this year set up a Swavalamban Crisis Responsive Fund to help MSMEs get on the TReDS platforms without any fee. The government had waived off registration fee of Rs 10,000 till March 2021 for onboarding the TReDS platforms including the Receivables Exchange of India, M1xchange and Invoicemart.

The ministry, lastly, also noted that it is already mandatory for corporates to file half-yearly returns with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs on their dues to MSMEs. “Corporates have been requested to file returns if not doing so already.’ it said.