Haryana’s Assistance for Technology Acquisition Scheme

In an era characterized by rapid technological evolution, innovation stands as a linchpin for economic growth and development. Recognizing the pivotal role that technology plays in enhancing the competitiveness of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), the Government of Haryana, India, has unveiled an extraordinary initiative – the “Assistance for Technology Acquisition Scheme.” This groundbreaking scheme, announced under Chapter 14 of the Haryana Enterprises Employment Policy-2020, is poised to empower MSMEs located across the state by fostering the acquisition of cutting-edge technologies. In this article, we delve into the details of this innovative program, examining its objectives, eligibility criteria, and the significant impact it could have on the MSME sector.

Objective: Pioneering Technological Advancement

The primary objective of the Assistance for Technology Acquisition Scheme is to facilitate the identification and procurement of new technologies by MSMEs. In an era characterized by relentless technological advancements, staying ahead of the curve is imperative for businesses to remain competitive. This scheme aims to empower MSMEs to do precisely that by enabling them to invest in the latest technologies.

Quantum of Assistance: A Generous Boost

Under this scheme, MSMEs can receive financial assistance amounting to 75% of the cost incurred in acquiring technology. The financial support is available for acquiring technology from premier National/International Institutes, Patented Technology from domestic or foreign companies, with a maximum cap of INR 50.00 lakh. This substantial financial aid empowers MSMEs to take substantial strides in adopting advanced technologies that might otherwise be financially burdensome.

Defining the Spectrum: Categorizing Enterprises

To ensure equitable distribution of benefits, the scheme categorizes MSMEs based on their investment in plant and machinery or equipment and their annual turnover, in alignment with the MSMED Act, 2006:

  • Medium Enterprise: Firms with investments not exceeding INR 50 crore in plant and machinery or equipment and an annual turnover not exceeding INR 250 crore.
  • Small Enterprise: Enterprises with investments not exceeding INR 10 crore in plant and machinery or equipment.
  • Micro Enterprise: The smallest entities, with investments not exceeding INR 1 crore in plant and machinery or equipment and an annual turnover not exceeding INR 5 crore.

This categorization ensures that the scheme’s benefits reach a wide spectrum of MSMEs, from the smallest to the most substantial enterprises.

Commencement and Applicability: A Timely Initiative

The Assistance for Technology Acquisition Scheme came into effect on January 1, 2021, marking the beginning of a transformative journey for MSMEs in Haryana. The program is set to operate for five years, providing a window of opportunity for eligible businesses to embrace technological advancements. It’s important to note that the assistance is only applicable to technology acquisitions made between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2025, under this scheme.

Eligibility Criteria: Opening Doors for MSMEs

To be eligible for assistance under this scheme, MSMEs in Haryana must adhere to the following conditions:

  1. Udyam Registration Certificate (URC) and Haryana Udhyam Memorandum (HUM): The unit must file these documents on the portal for statistical purposes.
  2. Specialized Technology Acquisition: Enterprises seeking assistance for technology acquisition for specialized applications are eligible under this scheme.
  3. Demonstrable Improvement: The technology acquisition should lead to a clear improvement in the unit’s performance. Mere purchase of machinery or technology without a demonstrable impact on performance will not qualify.
  4. Machinery Manufacturers: Machinery manufacturers can also benefit from technology collaboration from abroad.
  5. Excluded Items: The items of manufacture should not fall within the restrictive list as notified by the State Government from time to time.
  6. NOC/CLU: Units must obtain NOC/CLU from the competent authority, if applicable.
  7. Commercial Production: The units should be in commercial production.
  8. Regular Production: The units should be in regular production at the time of disbursement, and the assistance will not be released to closed units.

These eligibility criteria aim to ensure that the assistance is directed towards enterprises that genuinely seek to enhance their technological capabilities.

The Application Process: Streamlined and Transparent

The process for availing assistance under the Assistance for Technology Acquisition Scheme is designed to be streamlined and transparent:

  • Application Submission: Enterprises must submit their applications, using the prescribed Form (Annexure-I), for the reimbursement of technology acquisition costs along with the required documents to the Director/ Director General, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, through the web portal of the department.
  • Scrutiny and Recommendation: The applications are processed and examined by the Joint Director/Deputy Director, District MSME Centre. They conduct a thorough scrutiny and recommend approval or rejection of the claim after inspecting the unit. Any deficiencies identified are communicated to the applicant online within seven days, with the applicant given ten days to rectify them.
  • Filing of Claim: In case deficiencies are not resolved within the prescribed period, the claim will be filed by the Competent Authority, with intimation to the party through email. Additional documents will not be required unless necessary to establish the genuineness of the claim.

Time Limit: Adherence is Key

Timeliness is a critical factor in availing assistance under this scheme. Enterprises will forfeit their entitlement for reimbursement of technology acquisition costs if they do not submit their claims, complete in all respects, within three months from the date of technology acquisition or from the date of notification of the scheme, whichever is later.

Competent Authority: Sanctioning Assistance

The Director/ Director General, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, serves as the competent authority for sanctioning the subsidy. This ensures that the approval process remains efficient and centralized.

Interpretation and Clarification: Ensuring Clarity

To address any queries or concerns regarding the scheme’s provisions, the Administrative Secretary Industries and Commerce, Haryana, holds the authority to provide interpretation and clarification.

Appeals: A Recourse for Applicants

In the event of an order passed by the Competent Authority that an applicant wishes to challenge, an appeal can be made to the Administrative Secretary, Industries & Commerce, Haryana, within 30 days from the date of communication of the orders appealed against. The decisions made by the Administrative Secretary in appeal are considered final.

Condoning Delays: A Considerate Approach

Recognizing that delays can occur for various reasons, the scheme provides for the condonation of delays in submission of applications and appeals:

  • The Director/ Director General, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, can condone delays up to a period of three months after the prescribed time limit.
  • The Administrative Secretary, Industries & Commerce, Haryana, holds the authority to condone delays up to a period of six months after the prescribed time limit, provided substantial evidence/documents/arguments are presented by the applicant to justify the delay.

This approach aims to balance the need for timely processing while considering unforeseen circumstances that may lead to delays.

Penal Action: Upholding Integrity

Integrity is a cornerstone of this scheme. Any instance where government assistance is availed based on false information will result in severe consequences for the applicant. Such cases will lead to:

  • Refunding assistance with compound interest at a rate of 12% per annum.
  • Facing legal action.
  • Being debarred from receiving any incentives or assistance from the State Government.
  • Recovery of the subsidy amount with interest as arrears of land revenue.

The scheme places a high premium on accuracy and honesty in all interactions.

Service Delivery Timeline: A Commitment to Efficiency

To ensure timely processing and disbursement, the scheme outlines specific timelines for key tasks:

  1. Letter of Approval: Within 30 days.
  2. Letter of Sanction: Within 7 days.
  3. Disbursement: Within 7 days.

These stringent timelines are intended to expedite the process and provide applicants with clarity and predictability.

Conclusion: Empowering MSMEs for a Technological Renaissance

The Assistance for Technology Acquisition Scheme introduced by the Government of Haryana is a beacon of hope for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises in the state. By facilitating the acquisition of cutting-edge technologies, this initiative empowers businesses to innovate, grow, and remain competitive in a rapidly evolving landscape. With generous financial assistance, clear eligibility criteria, and a transparent application process, the scheme aims to drive technological advancement and economic growth in Haryana. As MSMEs embrace new technologies, they not only secure their future but also contribute to the state’s economic prosperity.

This visionary scheme underscores Haryana’s commitment to fostering an environment where businesses can thrive through innovation and technology adoption. It is a testament to the state’s forward-thinking approach and its dedication to the success of its entrepreneurial community. As we move further into the digital age, initiatives like the Assistance for Technology Acquisition Scheme will continue to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of MSMEs in Haryana and, by extension, India as a whole.

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