Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday said the government agencies, public sector undertakings and major industries owe an estimated Rs 5 lakh crore in outstanding payments to MSMEs.
The MSME minister said the Centre has decided that its ministries and public sector undertakings will clear outstanding payments of MSMEs within 45 days.
"State governments, their ministries and public sector undertakings, Government of India, its ministries and undertakings, and major industries combined owe an estimated Rs 5 lakh crore to MSMEs, money that is stuck and not cleared," Gadkari said.
The minister said he has also requested state governments to clear dues owed by their departments and state owned undertakings.
He has been repeatedly appealing to major industries during his interactions to clear the outstanding payments owed by them to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Gadkari said the government has devised a scheme to strengthen NBFCs as they play a significant role in financing.
The government was thinking of creating a separate category of 'village industry' for MSMEs to encourage setting up of units in villages, he added. The minister was speaking in a video interaction with the members of Calcutta Chamber of Commerce.