The small-scale industry in Karnataka has been negatively affected by the sluggish economy, and timely action for revitalizing the sector has become urgent to restore its vibrancy, said Kassia President B P Shashidhar on Saturday.
At a meeting with Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday to outline the problems faced by the state’s Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Kassia presented a memorandum to the state government outlining various measures to kickstart economic activity on the MSME front.
The industry said that it is already under the jurisdiction of multiple acts such as Pollution Control, Factories Act, Shops & Establishment Act, ESI & PF Act which are of statutory nature. It said that the trade license imposed by the government encompasses MSME units as well.
But these units feel that since the industries are governed by several other acts, the insistence on trade license is an additional burden and dilutes attention from the productive angle, proving detrimental to the growth of the industry.
Kassia requested that the requirement of trade license for the small & micro industrial segment be waived and the EM-2 (Permanent Registration Certificate) issued by Department of Industries & Commerce and clearance from Pollution Control Board be treated as sufficient in place of a trade license.
The industry body said that property tax which was at Rs 2.50 per sq ft for own use and Rs 5 per sq ft for rented has doubled to Rs 5 per sq ft and Rs 10 respectively, which is too high. “State government should formulate a moderate property tax structure throughout the state for small scale industries,” Kassia said in its memorandum.
It noted that because of the prevailing ambiguity in procedures adopted by government corporations and public undertakings in the 15 per cent price preference given to small industries, this policy has been withdrawn, following which SMEs are unable to supply materials to any government undertaking.
The industry body requested the chief minister to reinstate the 15 per cent price and purchase preference and prescribe a procedure as in the case of KSRTC, where if the SME supplier is ready to match the prices offered by larger manufacturer, it is given preference.
On the subsidies which have not been released under the Technology Upgradation Fund (TUF) scheme to fund capital equipment purchases by MSMEs, many of whom contribute substantially to the state’s exports, Kassia requested the chief minister to ensure that the entire subsidy amount of about Rs 7-8 crore is cleared without delay.
Kassia also requested representation for MSMEs on the boards of the Karnataka State Financial Corporation, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board, besides reservation of land for small-scale units in industrial estates.