Indore: The move of District Industries Centre (DIC) to recover maintenance charge from back date has anguished owners of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), who have raised protest against the levy. The MSMEs are major job givers. Their owners said DIC’s bid to recover the revise charges from April 2015 is unjustified.
There are more than 6000 MSME units in the state, out of which over 3500 are located in Indore and Pithampur only. Since more than 50% of the units are located here, Indore and Pithampur have appeared as the focal point of protests by MSME entrepreneurs.
The maintenance charges were introduced by DIC in 2009. The units set up before July 1, 2009, were liable to pay maintenance charge, which was 1% premium of the land allocated to them by industry department. The units set up after July 1, 2009, had to pay maintenance charge, which was 2% premium of the land.
Six years later, it was increased to Rs 10 per square metre of the land. The revise charge came into effect from April 1, 2015. The DIC was asked to recover revised charge after informing industrialists. However, the DIC did not inform. As a result, the industrialists remained unaware about the new rates. Thus, they continued to pay the charges as per previous tariff and DIC also received the payments as per previous tariff.
Source said officials in DIC were not aware about the move. Also, they did not have proper record of land allotted to industrialists. As a result, they could not calculate the exact amount of revised charges to be recovered from each MSME entrepreneur.
On April 1 this year, the DIC informed industrialist about revised maintenance charges of Rs 10 per square metre. They were asked to pay the sum from back date, that is, April 2015. This jolted the industrialists as they were struggling to overcome the effect of demonetisation and GST implementation.
Alok Dave, Association of Industries of Madhya Pradesh president.
The sudden recovery of maintenance charges as per the revised rates and also from back date is unjustified. Industrial units are already facing tough time. MSMEs are major source of employment. It should be withdrawn. We will protest in a big way.
Santosh Trivedi, DIC general manager, Indore
The levy from back date is not unjustified as it was notified in the gazette in 2015. We are collecting the charges as per the notification.