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Kalraj Mishra launches KASSIA Mobile App; MSMEs urge Minister to relax NPA norms

 Bengaluru, May 17 (KNN) Union MSME Minister Kalraj Mishra launched the My KASSIA Mobile App and a MSME Handbook in Kannada in the city on Tuesday.

Mishra said KASSIA’s initiatives will help in faster dissemination of information among entrepreneurs.

Padmanabha, President, Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (KASSIA) said this is for the first time in the country that an industry body has taken an initiative to launch a Mobile App. The app is exclusively for KASSIA Members and MSMEs.

KASSIA President also submitted a Joint Memorandum to the Union Minister highlighting main grievances of the MSMEs in the region.

Making a strong plea for relaxing NPA norms from 90 days to 180 days for MSMEs, he said many genuine industries are becoming victims of the 90-day norm.

“The banks should discriminate between willful defaulters and genuine customers rather than classify the entire MSME accounts as NPA under the 90 days norm, he said pointing out that most of the MSME units were themselves victims of delayed payments from PSUs/large enterprises.

Padmanabha also cited latest reports that show that 60% of bank NPAs were due to their top 100 customers.

KASSIA appealed Kalraj Mishra to take measures to ensure banks charge lower interest rates from MSMEs similar to the soft loans extended to other special interest groups like the farm sector.

Replying to KASSIA’s plea, Mishra said Banks have already been told to adopt a more discriminating approach while classifying a MSME account as non-performing.

The Memorandum presented by KASSIA called for setting up of a Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Southern Industry MSME Associations representing 7 States viz. Karnataka, Goa, AP, Telangana, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to look into specific concerns of the MSME Sector and liaison with the Central Ministers and officials of various MSME Departments for speedy redressal.

The other issues highlighted in the Memorandum included implementation of the recommendations of Prabhat Kumar Committee on revising the threshold and ceiling covering the definition of a MSME; central funding for Industrial Townships and extending of support under ASIDE Scheme; increase the coverage limit under Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme (CLCSS) from the existing Rs 1 crore to Rs 5 crore etc. (KNN Bureau)