Even payments for Saubhagya Scheme works not made fully
*Unit holders say no ground for withholding payments
JAMMU, Sept 23: Several Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir are facing severe financial crisis as Government is not showing any interest in clearing their liabilities worth Rs 20 crore during the past one year. Moreover, payments worth several crores of rupees have not been made for the work done under Saubhagya Scheme of the Union Government aimed at providing electricity to every household.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that in the year 2018-19, the MSMEs from Jammu as well as Srinagar supplied items like power distribution transformers, conductors, poles and cables to the Central Store Division of the Jammu Power Distribution Corporation Limited (JPDCL) after e-tendering and third party inspection.
These items were provided to the Central Store Division on emergency basis against the purchase orders formally issued to these MSMEs by the then Chief Engineer, Planning and Procurement Wing of the Power Development Department now re-designated as Chief Engineer, Planning and Procurement, Jammu Power Distribution Corporation Limited.
However, instead of appreciating the MSMEs for meeting the requirement of the Central Store Division of JPDCL well in time, the Government has withheld their payments worth Rs 19 crore during the past over one year without any justifiable ground, sources said.
This is notwithstanding the fact that all the prescribed formalities like floating of e-tenders, purchase committee meetings for fixing of supply rates, issuance of formal purchase orders, executing of agreement and third party inspection were strictly followed.
It is pertinent to mention here that purchase committee is comprised of six Chief Engineers from the Power Development Department, officers from Finance and Industries Departments and is chaired by Development Commissioner Power.
“The funds for Centrally Sponsored Schemes for which procurement of material was made from the MSMEs have already been released to the Government of Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory and subsequently transferred to the Jammu Power Distribution Corporation Limited but without any plausible ground the payments of the MSME units have not been made”, sources further said.
They further disclosed that while payments in respect of new purchase orders placed in the year 2020 have been released, the pending liabilities have not been cleared for the reasons best known to JPDCL.
“Due to inordinate delay in release of payments, the MSME units are facing severe financial crisis and their bank accounts are hearing towards Non-Performing Assets (NPA)”, sources further said, adding “large number of MSMEs which are manufacturing and supplying items to the Central Store Divisions in Jammu and Srinagar for the last many decades are finding it difficult to sustain due to non-serious approach of the Government towards release of their payments”.
As per the official documents available with EXCELSIOR, the Chief Engineer of Planning and Procurement Wing of JPDCL in the month of June this year had written to the Managing Director of JPDCL for release of payments but till date no decision has been taken.
“Kindly find enclosed herewith the liability statement of SSI units amounting to Rs 1909.70 lakh (stock suspense) submitted by the Executive Engineer Electric Central Store Division JPDCL vide Letter No.ECSDJ/291-93 dated May 30, 2020. It is requested that an amount of Rs 19 crore may be released in favour of Executive Engineer enabling him to clear the outstanding liabilities of SSI units which are pressing hard for release of payments”, reads the letter dated June 23, 2020 of Chief Engineer, Planning and Procurement Wing of JPDCL written to the Managing Director of JPDCL.
When contacted, Chief Engineer, Planning and Procurement Wing Sunil Gupta admitted that MSMEs have been pressing hard for release of payments worth Rs 19 crore. “We have cleared some liability but this amount is yet to be released and as and when the funds are placed at our disposal the same would be cleared”, he added.
Some of the MSME unit holders told EXCELSIOR that they tried their level best to approach the senior officers to seek their personal intervention in clearing the liabilities but all their efforts failed to yield the results. “Actually, the senior officers are not approachable”, they added.
According to the sources, even payments worth several crores of rupees have not been made for the work done under Saubhagya Scheme of the Union Government aimed at providing electricity to every household.
“This is because the Union Power Ministry has found some discrepancies in the claims of the J&K administration about electrification of households under this scheme and we don’t know when the doubts will be cleared and payments released to the MSMEs which had executed the work”, sources said.