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Now MSMEs, others can file grievances on this portal for alleged violation of public procurement order

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In September 2020, the government had amended the order to enable nodal ministries and departments to notify higher minimum local content requirements for local suppliers.

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Now there is a dedicated portal for MSMEs and other companies participating in government procurement to file grievances for alleged violation of Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) Order, 2017. The portal launched by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) will refer grievances of suppliers and bidders to concerned procuring entities including ministries and departments “on real time basis for examination, necessary corrective action and comments, if any,” DPIIT said in an office memorandum. The portal will be effective from July 1, 2021.

The 2017 order was issued to promote goods manufactured in India and with a view to enhancing businesses’ income and employment. The order also intended to boost MSMEs and other businesses’ participation in the public procurement process. In September 2020, the government had amended the order to enable nodal ministries and departments to notify higher minimum local content requirements for local suppliers. It had also barred entities of countries, which do not allow Indian companies to participate in their government procurement for any item, to participate in the government procurement in India.

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Procuring ministries and departments would be able to send their comments on the concerned grievance to DPIIT on the portal itself while the portal is expected to “reduce the grievance redressal time,” DPIIT said in the memorandum. “Portals like these including MSME Samadhaan etc., are mainly for the central government. Concerns such as delayed payments are largely with state government PSUs. So, if we state government entities are also included it then it is likely to benefit more to MSMEs. Also, many micro and small enterprises don’t even know about such portals,” Pankaj Kumar Gupta, Director and Promoter of transformers manufacturer A Powertech Electricals told Financial Express Online.

Meanwhile, public procurement by central ministries, departments, and public sector units (PSUs) from micro and small enterprises (MSEs) had declined marginally during the Covid year 2020-21. The fall in procurement value was for the second consecutive year to Rs 39,538 crore from Rs 39,632 crore in FY20 and Rs 40,399 in FY19, according to the available government data on public procurement. The government had earmarked a 25 per cent yearly procurement target by MSEs for CPSEs from April 1, 2015, onwards up from 20 per cent earlier. A sub-target of 4 per cent from SC/ST-owned MSEs and 3 per cent from women-owned MSEs were earmarked out of the 25 per cent target. Since FY16 (procurement worth Rs 18,246 crore), the government buying from MSEs has recorded 116 per cent growth.

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