Year comes to end: Entrepreneurs still await payments
Srinagar, Mar 30: Even as there is just one day left to this financial year, payments worth crores of rupees due to entrepreneurs are pending in different government departments and treasuries.
“Government’s claims on timely payments to contractors and entrepreneurs notwithstanding, the fact remains we are facing huge problems to get payments released,” said a group of entrepreneurs.
President, SICOP Unit Holders’ Association, Muhammad Ashraf Mir said hundreds of local entrepreneurs have their payments withheld in Rural Development Department, Roads and Buildings Department or other works departments.
“This year we were expecting the things would improve, but there is no improvement,” he said, adding that some payments were pending for last couple of years.
“Some bills pending relate to supplies and works conducted in the backdrop of October 2005 earthquake,” he added.
Bashir Ahmad Khan, general secretary, Kashmir Electrical Employees Association said the liabilities of 29 local SSI unit holders engaged in repair of power transformers had accumulated to more than Rs 4 crore, which the power development department was supposed to pay “but it has not paid as yet.”
“Two entrepreneurs in this IE are awaiting payment of around Rs 90 lakh from the health and education departments for past one year now,” said Javaid Ahmad Bhat, president, Sopur Industrial Estate.
The entrepreneurs alleged that payments pertaining to outside suppliers were not being delayed by the departments/treasuries.
President Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK), Shakeel Qalander, said the FCIK had been visited by various local entrepreneurs whose payments had been withheld in several departments.
Qalander said the MSME Development Act 2006 was applicable in J&K whereunder a facilitation council had been framed by the state. “As per this act, if the period of payment clause has not been mentioned, the department in any case shall have to make payments within 45 days from the supply of the products by SSI units,” Qalander said.
“In case of its failure to do so, the department is duty bound to pay the interest at three times the bank rate to the entrepreneurs over and above their due payments,” he said.
FCIK president said the entrepreneurs should take advantage of this Act.
The entrepreneurs, he said, should approach the Director Industries and Commerce and Chairman Facilitation Council, who can act as arbiters under this Act. “Whatever amount they decide, the departments shall have to pay that subject to an appeal by them in the high court, where they will have to deposit 75 per cent of the award money,” he said.
“In case of any difficulty, they are free to consult the FCIK for further guidance in the matter,” he added.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 30 Mar 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 30 Mar 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 31 Mar 2010 00:00:00 IST
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