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Year ender 2023: Here are the biggest defaulters of MSME payments; top PSUs, central departments, and more

Among various central and state buyers against which micro and small enterprises (MSEs) have filed complaints for delay in clearing their payments against goods and services sold, central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) have been among the biggest defaulters. As of December 26, 6,167 complaints were filed by MSEs against various CPSEs since October 2017 when the government had launched the delayed payment monitoring portal Samadhaan, of which only 1,630 applications were disposed by facilitation councils set up in various states to address the issue. 

According to the data from the Samadhaan portal, 2,120 applications have been filed since October 2017 against Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), of which only 880 have been disposed so far. Others in the top five bracket were Indian Oil Corporation with 509 applications filed and 53 disposed followed by Bharat Heavy Electricals (455 applications and 100 disposed), Bridge & Roof Co. (India) (211 applications and 47 disposed), and NTPC (164 applications and 19 disposed). 

Other than central PSUs, the departments of various central ministries have received 2,371 applications since October 2017. The maximum 582 applications for payments delayed to MSEs were filed against the Department of Defence, of which 110 were disposed while the Department of Health and Family Welfare had received 232 applications, of which 52 applications were disposed.

Other top three defaulters among central departments were telecom, military affairs and higher education with 217, 184, and 166 applications filed so far by MSEs respectively. 

However, proprietorship businesses, MSME units and state governments, not central PSUs or departments, have been the top defaulters. As per the data from the Samadhaan portal, 40,730 applications have been filed so far against proprietorships that didn’t pay MSEs on time, of which 6,462 applications were disposed. 

13,639 applications were filed against MSMEs, of which 2,693 were disposed and 10,129 were filed against state governments, of which 2,364 were disposed. Amid states, MSEs had filed 1,414 applications against buyers in the Rajasthan government followed by 1,277 applications against buyers in the UP government, 1,173 against Maharashtra, 859 against Madhya Pradesh and 526 against Andhra Pradesh, data from the Samadhaan portal showed. 

“The Ministry of MSME has requested States/UTs to set up more MSEFCs for quicker disposal of cases related to delayed payments. So far, 157 MSEFCs have been set up with more than one MSEFC set up in States like Delhi, Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, U.P. & West Bengal,” said Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma, Minister of State in the MSME Ministry in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on December 11. 

As of December 4, 2023, state governments were responsible for the highest number of 4,392 pending MSME payments applications amounting to Rs 3,379 crore followed by 1,856 applications involving Rs 904 crore filed against central ministries, 1,853 applications involving Rs 2,142 crore against central PSUs and 1,488 applications involving Rs 1,643 crore against state PSUs, showed data shared by Verma in the Lok Sabha. 

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