The government is taking several steps to provide impetus to the enterprises in the MSME sector. Over the last few years, various projects and schemes have been launched by the central and state governments in order to promote and develop the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. In lines with the Narendra Modi-led government's visionary 'Digital India' initiative, several efforts have been put in by the Nitin Gadkari-led MSME Ministry to digitise processes involved in registration of firms under the micro, small and medium enterprises. In order to promote 'ease of doing business', steps have been undertaken to streamline all the procedures related MSMEs' interaction with the government to reduce unnecessary wastage of time and resources and increase business' efficiency.
One such initiative by the central government to simplify the registration process for the MSMEs is the launch of the Udyam Registration Portal. Launched in July last year, it was aimed to eliminate the excessive paperwork involved in the registering process and make the work more streamlined. The objective of the portal is to provide a single-page registration, consume less time and simplify processes of registering any enterprise under MSME. RBI Extends Deadline For Udyog Aadhaar Memorandum of MSME Registrations Till March 31, 2021.
However, the major issue with the portal being, that as per a notification dated November 26,2020, GSTIN was made a mandatory condition to register the firm through the Udyam Registration Portal with effect fro April 1, 2021. Following complaints and criticism by various MSME owners and businessmen, the Union Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, have done away with this requirement. MSMEs in India: Over 11 Lakh MSMEs Registered So Far on Udyam Online System Since July; Here’s How You Can Register Your MSME Online.
As per a notification dated March 5, 2020 the MSME Ministry examined the matter related tothe mandatory requirement for filing Udyam Registration with those for filing GST Returns, in the interest of those enterprises that are exempted from filing returns. The business owners can now register under the MSME sector through the portal by using their PAN (Permanent Account Number) cards only, the GSTIN is no longer a mandatory requirement for the same.
Following the notification last year, various MSME associations said that the measure of making GSTIN mandatory is impacting the registration process as many enterprises are exempt from the mandatory requirement of filing GST Returns as per the Goods and Service Tax Act. They also stated that the annual turnover for several MSME might be less than the threshold limit for exemption from registration under said act.
The Udyam Registration Portal has been a welcomed move by various existing MSMEs and the business owners who have been planning to get their firms registered under the sector. It is has simplified the entire process of registration, making it more user friendly and transparent. It also aims to support several micro-enterprises, including skilled craftsmen and artisans and other enterprises in the informal sector and unorganised sector, by easing the process of registration.