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Maharashtra Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday declared the end of “inspector raj” in Maharashtra to give a new impetus to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).
While putting the onus of self-certification on entrepreneurs willing to start new business, he said, “I repose faith in our entrepreneurs.”
While revealing the government’s decision to usher a new comprehensive policy for MSMEs, he said, “The reforms undertaken would be to boost the sector which finds hard to withstand competition in the market because of inordinate delay in processing the proposals.”
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The term inspector raj is used in the context of how officials in the name of surprise checks to ascertain rules are adhered often visit industrial units and harass owners. It is a common practise that many are forced to give bribe to avoid harassment.
“My government believes MSMEs can play a significant role in Make in Maharashtra. Its sustenance and growth is crucial for providing greater employment opportunities to youths,” he said. A full fledged MSME Development Corporation would also be constituted to address all the issues related to the sector.
Fadnavis said, “I repose total faith in you. Now you have to honour it with measures to rise to the occasion and ensure the guidelines laid down by the state government are complied. It want your self certification.”
While addressing the MSMEs who had gathered across Maharashtra, he said, In next two to three months we will execute the reforms to bring more transparency and accountability. If anybody is subjected to harassment they can just approach CMO or CEO of MIDC or Ministry of Industries. The harassment to extract “hafta” (bribe) from honest entrepreneurs will not be tolerated in my regime.”
The chief minister was voicing concerns of the MSMEs on how under the name of inspections, officials from various departments harass them and extract money. Majority of the time is lost in entertaining these officials who often keep the small entrepreneurs on tenterhooks.
“It has come to my notice that MSMEs often are subjected to harassment from unending inspection undertaken by officials to ascertain the guidelines. In return often it is seen individuals have to indulge in bribery to ensure the smooth business operations. I want to being an end to this “hafta” collections,” said Fadnavis.
While reassuring single window clearance permission to MSMSs, he said, “Now, setting up new business will be simplified as we have decided to bring down permissions upto 25 only by June. However, efforts are underway to reduce the permissions to single digits.”
The flip-flop of Congress-NCP government in 15 years on small and medium scale industries lead to closure of almost 2.5 lakh units across state. During 1999 to 2006, the state government’s industrial policy was centred on special economic zones. The generous concessions were awarded to all mega industries which it believed would ensure higher revenue returns and large scale employment. However, 2008 saw the state government revising its industrial policy which was made public in 2010. The concept of small and medium scale was again incorporated as the way forward to generate more employment opportunities through lesser investments in state.