There are two approaches to any problem and they are from top to bottom or from bottom to top. One approach may be appropriate for one aspect whereas another one may be more suitable for a particular purpose. We at PTLB Projects have been talking about a specific issue and area in this articles and for that purpose we have been using bottom to up model.
We are talking about Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) of India. MSMEs play an important role in employment generation and helping the Indian economy to grow. None can ignore their role in current and future India. However, like all other sectors MSMEs have their own share of problems. These problems pertain to legal awareness and compliance, non availability of banking channels, non availability of easy and affordable loans, regulatory compliance, etc.
So let us start from the beginning and see how MSMEs in India can help India becoming a great nation. We are also documenting how PTLB Projects is working at the ground level to help MSMEs, Startups, Entrepreneurs, etc at national and international levels using its “Bottom to Up Model”.
(1) Entity Selection: To begin with almost all businesses or entrepreneurship start as a micro unit. If a business has finance in hand it may start as small unit entity. Nevertheless, the first step is to decide what type of entity a business withes to enact. It may be a proprietorship, partnership or company and the choice is entirely upon the concerned person. Most are proprietorship initially as it requires minimum compliance and formalities. PTLB has launched a TeleLaw Project that is providing affordable Techno Legal services to MSMEs and others. The best part is that TeleLaw Project is providing “Techno Legal Services” where complicated legal issues involving technology are also managed. We can help you in selection of appropriate entity structure.
(2) MSME Certificate Application: Once the business entity has been established, the next step is to apply for MSME certificate at the official website of Udyog Aadhaar. Ministry of MSME has launched an online facility where the online form can be filed easily. Once the form is filed, a number is generated for reference purposes and the MSME certificate is sent at the registered e-mail id of the applicant.
(3) Cyber Crimes And Frauds: There are some people who are trying to cheat innocent people applying for MSME certificate. Please note that the Ministry of MSME has not authorised any person or company to be its partner, representative or associate to file or accept MSME application. Also Ministry of MSME does not charge any fee for issuing the MSME certificate. So stay away from such cheats and file your applications on the official website of Udyog Aadhaar only.
(4) Cyber Crimes Investigation: Our Techno Legal Centre Of Excellence For Cyber Crimes Investigation In India (TLCOECCII) investigated few misleading and fraud websites and found them charging money from people when nothing is required to be paid. If you need any assistance regarding/against such websites, you may contact TeleLaw Project of PTLB and we would help you free of cost.
(5) Amendments And Changes: You can also change details of your Udyog Aadhaar with a simple online process. The entire process is very easy and user friendly. If you need any help in this regard you may contact TeleLaw Project.
(6) Offline Applications: As per the Notification (Pdf) issued by Ministry of MSME, in case an applicant or the authorised signatory does not have Aadhaar number or in cases where online filing is not possible for any reason, a hard copy of the duly filled Form (Pdf) shall be submitted to the concerned District Industries Center (DIC) or to the Office of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise-Development Institute (MSME-DI) under the Development Commissioner, MSME along with any one of the specified documents like voter ID Card, passport, driving license, PAN card, etc as alternative and viable means of identification. Such application would be processed and filed by the DIC/MSME-DI on behalf of the applicant and the MSME certificate would be issued.
(7) Digital Empowerment And E-Delivery: This is the point where PTLB Projects has introduced a Techno Legal mechanism as part of its bottom to up model. Till now the Ministry of MSME has not introduced a mechanism where Digital India and modes like e-mail can be used for sending “Offline Applications” or applications that cannot be filed through the online portal. We have send one such MSME application using e-mail and are waiting for the response from the Ministry of MSME. We would update our readers about this mechanism and model that we intend to develop further.
We are in talk with other stakeholders involved in the MSME ecosystem and would update this article and add more articles so that MSMEs can be benefited from our efforts.
(1) Update I (10-06-2019): Today we sent another e-mail reminder to the Ministry of MSME and its officers. Around 16.45 PM, we received a call from Shri. Vijay Kumar, Director of MSME Development Institute, Delhi, as he was also marked in the e-mail.
He tried to explain why Aadhaar is required and why the software would not accept the application without the Aadhaar number. When we asked him to give us this in writing, he said that the matter is already before the Ministry of MSME as they received the e-mail too and the Ministry would take the call. He also said this is a Government Policy and they have to comply with it and all MSME certificate applicants have given Aadhaar to get the certificate. Basically his point was if everybody is doing something, we should also do so blindly to which we politely refused.
He did not say anything why more authentic documents like DL, PAN, etc and all details filed in an electronic form are not enough. All he said was that this is a Govt Policy and the Ministry of MSME has to take the call now. So the issue is between us and Ministry of MSME now.
He said Aadhaar is a valid identity document to which we explained that Aadhaar is neither an identity document nor a proof of address. It is used because Government is imposing it illegally. We also explained why DL, PAN, etc are authentic and MSME cannot reject them due to its own Notification and Judgment of Supreme Court. To this he said that must be some old Judgment and we assured him that we are talking about the Constitution Bench Judgment of Supreme Court. Finally he said this is a legal issue and the Ministry of MSME would take the call.
So Aadhaar has proved the first obstacle for Ease of Doing Business and Digital India Project of Indian Government. We have been maintaining for long that forced Aadhaar has failed Digital India, Startups and Entrepreneurs in India and this episode proves the same. Now we are waiting for the response of Ministry of MSME and would update our readers once a response is received.
(2) Update II (11-06-2019): Today we sent another e-mail to officials of Ministry of MSME. As Shri. Vijay Kumar, Director, MSME-Development Institute, Okhla, New Delhi, has informed us yesterday (i.e. 10-06-2019) that it is for the Ministry of MSME to take the call now, we have excluded his e-mail id from the loop. Now the officials at Ministry of MSME have to accept the application and the same must be done today itself as the time to issue MSME certificate is 1 day.
(3) Update III (13-06-2019): There is a major governance problem in Modi Government. It was there during the previous term (2014-19) and it is still there. Due to anti transparency policy of Modi Government, Grievance Portals have been made redundant, RTI has been diluted and official at various Ministries are not fulfilling their responsibilities.
As a result, TeleLaw Project of PTLB filed an RTI Application (Pdf) today before the Ministry of MSME. TeleLaw Project would ensure Digital Empowerment of Indians and we would leave no stone unturned if Modi Government keeps on stone walling genuine queries and continue with its illegal drive to force Aadhaar.
(4) Update IV (18-06-2019): Filing of RTI Application has forced the Ministry of MSME to reply back to our e-mails. However, as expected they are taking excuses of Aadhaar and paper filing, that are both illegal as per the Judgment of Constitution Bench of Supreme Court and Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act 2000) respectively. We have categorically informed them about the illegality of their actions and fallacies of their demands. If the Ministry of MSME still persists in its bad governance and insistence on Aadhaar and paper documents, we would file another RTI about these aspects as well. Meanwhile, we have explored other options too at the Government level and would update our readers about the same once we receive any information in this regard.
(5) Update V (19-06-2019): As the Ministry of MSME is not cooperating and is acting against the interests of MSMEs and startups, we approached the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on 18-06-2019. We discussed “Contempt Of Court And Digital India Non Compliance By Ministry Of MSME” (Pdf) with the PMO. Today we contacted Shri Ambuj Sharma, Under Secretary (Public), PMO, in this regard with all documents and communications. Now the entire chain of event is available to PMO as well and we hope the PMO would stop this blatant contempt of Supreme Court and open disregard of Digital India and New India model of PTLB Projects.
(6) Update VI (21-06-2019): Today the Contempt of Court and violation of provisions of IT Act 2000 by Ministry of MSME has been escalated to next levels. We would update our readers about the same and its outcome soon.
(7) Update VII (28-06-2019): Today we received an online response from Shri. Satish Kumar, US (Estt.A.III) of Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) for the RTI Application made by us and allotted to multiple CPIOs of DoPT.
The response has been provided within a period of 7 days as the RTI Application was made by us on 21-06-2019. This is a positive development and we at PTLB Projects welcome and appreciate this swift action of Shri. Satish Kumar.
We asked for the relevant provisions of the service rules or other laws/rules where a secretary or/and head of a department can be “punished for non performance” or where “disciplinary actions or administrative actions” can be initiated against them for neglecting their “official duties”. Our RTI Application also covered their liability for other civil and criminal wrongs as well.
Shri. Satish Kumar informed us that violation of any of the provisions of CCS (Conduct) Rules, 1964 may attract disciplinary action under Rule 14 or 16 of CCS (CCA) Rules, 1965 and penalties may be imposed under Rule 11 of CCS (CCA) Rules. He clarified that Rule 12 of the CCS (CCA) Rules, 1965 prescribes the “concerned authority” who can take “disciplinary action or administrative action” against guilty officials and bureaucrats.
He also informed that our application has also been marked to other concerned CPIOs of this Department for providing information directly to us. We have to wait for the response of other CPIOs as well before we take the biggest step in the history of India to bring transparency and accountability of government officials and bureaucrats.
(8) Update VIII (01-07-2019): Today we filed a RTI Application before the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) regarding establishing transparency and accountability among Government Departments and Ministries. We also sought information about the Government’s pet project Digital India so that its actual implementation and truth can be revealed.
(9) Update IX (02-07-2019): Yesterday we filed a RTI Application at PMO as the grievance officer was sitting upon our grievance. Today the grievance officer has forwarded our grievance to the head of the department at Ministry of MSME. We are committed to bring digital governance, Digital India, e-delivery and Good Governance in all Govt Departments and Ministries in India.