The national conference of small-scale industries (SSIs) held in New Delhi, under the banner of All India Confederation of Small and Micro Industries Association (AICSMIA), has demanded the central government to raise the basic exemption limit for SSIs from existing Rs 1 crore to Rs 2 crore. Saying that due to the rising inflation there has been an overall increase in the cost of all inputs and wages besides substantial cost escalation, the conference urged that the registration should be made mandatory only when the unit achieves a turnover equivalent to the exemption limit.
The tax audit limit was also demanded to be raised to Rs 2 crore. It was fixed at Rs 40 lakh in 1984 which is still in the vogue. Demanding exemption from imposition of fringe benefit tax and penalty on VAT, mandatory registration in service tax, excise, etc., the conference suggested that the Debt Recovery Tribunals should be converted into SSI Rehabilitation Tribunals. ?For providing support to the SSI units, a Market Development Fund of Rs 1000 crore should be set up on the lines of the recommendations of the Abid Hussain Committee. It is also necessary to extend financial support to the industrial associations from this fund for organising trade fairs, exhibitions, workshops and buyer-seller meets for the SSI sector,? said Shri Sudarshan Sarin, president of AICSMIA.
Speaking at the conference, Shri Mangat Ram Singhal, Industry Minister of Delhi, said the role of SME in improving the growth scenario of the country is tremendous especially because of its high employment-providing capabilities. He also supported the demand of SSIs to increase the exemption limit from Rs 1 crore to Rs 2 crore. Talking about corruption in banking sector, Shri Singhal said despite the announcement of lucrative schemes for providing easy finance to SSIs, most entrepreneurs find it difficult to get the timely and sufficient finance from the banks to match their needs.
Shri Santosh Bagrodia, chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Industry, said the forthcoming SME bill aims at ensuring that the benefits meant to facilitate the SSI sector reach the tinniest of units. He also stated that the committee is monitoring all the banks including PSU, private and foreign banks to ensure that 20 per cent of the loan provision is forwarded to the SME sector. He also said the discussions are on to increase this limit from 20 per cent to 40 per cent.
On the occasion, a Small Industry Knowledge Centre was also launched to equip the small industry units with a strong IT base to survive in the globally competitive environment. This is a joint venture between AICSMIA and Delhi Productivity Council. The center would facilitate and organise IT-related awareness and training programmes.