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Electricity Supply Companies Deny Govt’s Dorective of Waving off Fixed Charges to MSMEs: KASSIA

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In spite of government clear direction, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state are not being given the benefit of fixed charges waiver by the Electricity Supply Companies (ESCOMS), said Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (KASSIA).

KASSIA president K B Arasappa met Karnataka Minister of Large and Medium Industries Jagadish S Shettar and congratulated the minister on the proposed New Industrial Policy.

”MSMEs are not being given the benefit of fixed charges waiver by the ESCOMS and the consumers are harassed by the officials in spite of the government order,” he apprised the Minister during the meet.

He requested him to issue clear directions in this regard to the ESCOMS so that industry is not unduly harassed.

”Industry as you know, especially MSEs, continue to reel under the impact of the pandemic due to the disruption in supply chains, absence of demand, labour related issues as well as the general economic slowdown. MSMEs by their very nature are more vulnerable to such shocks,” KASSIA president asserted.

He also said that in such circumstances, it would be essential that the state supports the sector as best as it can in view of its importance for jobs and incomes.

Later, KASSIA requested the Minister to consider extending the following benefits to help MSMEs sustain such as: Ensure that the state departments and public undertakings diligently provide from the State & MSMEs all their requirements for products, materials and services. This may kindly be directed and regularly monitored, State take immediate steps to ensure that notices and penalties are not issued for minor transgressions at least for the current year to ease the stress on the sector, Most of all ensure KSFC is adequately funded to extend loans and advances to the sector at 4% interest in these hard times, Remove or at least reduce electricity tax levied by the State on SMEs, Consider reducing stamp duty on loan agreement with Banks/Financial Institutions and Ease regulatory compliance and inspections wherever feasible.

The industries body also lauded the decision of the government to defer payment of Variable Dearness Allowance (VDA) and said, ”it will also be of some relief to MSMEs to maintain employment.”

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