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Cabinet Approves Amendment to the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006 to Change the Criteria of Classification

07.02.2018

The Union Cabinet has approved change in the basis of classifying Micro, Small and Medium enterprises from ‘investment in plant & machinery/equipment’ to ‘annual turnover’. The amendment would encourage ease of doing business, make the norms of classification growth oriented and align them to the new tax regime revolving around GST (Goods & Services Tax). From last Fifty years, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector has emerged as a highly vibrant and dynamic sector of the Indian economy. MSMEs plays significant role in providing large employment opportunities at comparatively lower capital cost than large industries and helps in industrialization of rural & backward areas, thereby, reducing regional imbalances, assuring more equitable distribution of national income and wealth.

MSMEs are complementary to large industries as ancillary units and this sector contributes enormously to the socio-economic development of the country. The Micro; Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act was notified in 2006 to address policy issues affecting MSMEs as well as the coverage and investment ceiling of the sector. The Act aims to facilitate the development of these enterprises as also enhance their competitiveness.

Section 7 of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act, 2006 will accordingly be amended to define units producing goods and rendering services in terms of annual turnover. A micro enterprise will be defined as a unit where the annual turnover does not exceed five crore rupees. A small enterprise will be defined with annual turnover of more than five crore rupees but not exceeding Rs 75 crore. A medium enterprise will be defined according to annual turnover of more than seventy five crore rupees but not exceeding Rs 250 crore. Additionally, the Central Government may, by notification, vary turnover limits, which shall not exceed thrice the limits specified in Section 7 of the MSMED Act. As of now, Section 7 of Act, classifies the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) on the basis of investment in plant and machinery for manufacturing units, and investment in equipment for service enterprises. The criterion of investment in plant and machinery stipulates self declaration which in turn entails verification, if deemed necessary and leads to transaction costs.

Taking turnover as a criterion can be pegged with reliable figures available e.g. in GST Network and other methods of ascertaining which will help in having a non-discretionary, transparent and objective criteria and will eliminate the need for inspections, make the classification system progressive and evolutionary. Further, it would help in overcoming the uncertainties associated with the classification based on investment in plant & machinery/equipment and employment, and improve the ease of doing business. In addition, the amendment will provide flexibility to the Government to classify MSMEs in response to changing economic scenario without resorting to the amendment of MSMED (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Development) Act.

Tags : MSME Amendment Approval

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