Delegation of Industry and Trade Wing of SAD Punjab meets Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal
Demands special financial package for MSMEs
Ludhiana: A delegation of Federation of Industrial & Commercial Organization (FICO) met Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal at Village Badal and shared the concerns faced by the industry.
The delegation was led by Gurmeet Singh Kular President FICO and Sr. Vice President Industry and Trade Wing (Shiromani Akali Dal) along with Vipan Mittal (Vice Chairman FICO), Rajiv Jain (General Secretary FICO), Swarn Singh Moholi Member General Council S.A.D. Punjab, Baljeet Singh Bansal Working Committee Member S.A.D. Punjab.
The delegation demanded solutions for the issues being faced by the industry. The issues raised were as under:
Decriminalize cheque bounces
This is in context to Central Govt's proposal to decriminalize the offence of cheque bounce and make it a Civil offence. In the business world today, a cheque is widely used method of payment and postdated cheques are frequently used in various transactions to provide a certain accommodation to drawer of the cheque and ensure that they do not abuse the trust and accommodation given. As also the prosecution and recovery mechanism under Section 138 of Negotiable Instrument Act is only weapon with the objective for enhancing credibility of cheque issuance in business to deter dishonest drawer having intention to defraud. It is well known that in most of the country’s cheque bouncing is a serious punishable offence with a jail term, fine or both and a benchmark in calculation of credit score from CIBIL which is updated on site to debar the defaulter for any assistance from any financial institutions. But with this weapon gone, anybody can simply walk away by issuing dud cheques as the Civil Court cases may not be on a fast track in deliverance of justice as normally the course of action consumes years to settle civil cases. Furthermore, there is a stigma attached with a person appearing in a criminal court and applying for bail, and if the stigma goes then people will start issuing dud cheques with impunity and without any fear of law. Hence we are with a prayer that in this prevailing times of Covid-19 pandemic and economic distress, Section 138 of Negotiable Instrument Act will be a stealth to control the surge in financial failures and will act as a catalyst to maintain transparency in the business community for better understanding and escalating healthy business ethics.
Extension in CLCSS
Credit Link Capital Subsidy Scheme was to facilitate technology up-gradation in MSMEs by providing an upfront capital subsidy of 15 per cent (on institutional finance of up to Rs.1 crore availed by them) for induction of well-established and improved technology. Government of India has suspended the scheme, and reintroduced till 31st March 2020 only. We demand that Credit Link Capital Subsidy Scheme should be made permanent as it is the only scheme for the upgradation of the MSME industry & it provides the subsidy on the Bank Interest. Moreover, Post lock down the Government should enhance CLCSS Subsidy limit from 15% to 50% & investment limit from 1 Crore to 20 Crore so that industry can set up new projects as now world is looking at India as next manufacturing hub after China. We should grab this opportunity. Also, the banks should be instructed to facilitate the industry with the CLCSS Scheme.
Massive hike in petrol/ diesel prices
Recently there has been a consecutive increase in the prices of petrol and diesel. The prices of both fuels went up almost by 15 Rupees per liter in a span of two weeks or so, Fuel prices had been frozen from March 16 and now they are being increased relentlessly. The government had hiked excise duty on both petrol and diesel in March and May, earning an additional revenue of Rs 2 lakh crore, but this was not passed on to the consumers. The government should be trying to increase liquidity or at least maintain the existing level of liquidity so that people spend money and increase demand for goods and services. That is necessary to counter the slowdown caused by the lockdown, but the government is instead taking money from the people. The steady increase in the price of fuels is also likely to spark inflation. It is also requested to bring the Diesel and other petroleum products under the GST System at the earliest, so that industry could get the benefit of Input Tax Credit on Petroleum products could be availed by the industry.
Retention of GST, till 31.03.2021
There is no hiding in the fact that the trade & industry need to deposit the Goods & Service Tax (GST) every month, in other words, the GST of the total sales made in a month is set to be deposited very next month. But the payments for the goods sold are being recovered in a minimum period of 60 to 90 days, which is making it quite cumbersome for an entrepreneur to manage and carry out his business activities, especially in this post lock down period. It is requested to allow the trade and industry to retain the GST till 31.03.2021. Also, after that there must be an introduction of a simple phenomenon with single return.
Special Financial Package for MSME
There is a need of a Special Package for Trade & Industry which is the backbone of the Indian economy. It is requested to introduce a turnover based special package which should be dependent on GST Sales Return of Financial Year 2019-20, and the package should be introduced providing 25% relief to the micro Sector, 20% to The Small Sector, 15% to Medium Sector & 10%. Moreover, there should be a provision to include a clause whereby the government should take on the responsibility of paying salaries of industrial workers during the lockdown period.
The Union Minister gave a patient hearing to the issues and assured to look into them.