New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced that all the pending refunds of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to the tune of Rs 4,000-5,000 crore will be cleared within 30 days.

This measure will prove to be a major relief to the MSME sector which is currently facing liquidity shortage. Besides, all the GST refunds of MSMEs will be paid within 60 days from the date of application, added Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday while announcing a slew of measures to boost growth.

Notably, the average amount of GST refund-related dues at any given point in time is around Rs 7,000 crore, noted a top government official. Speaking in favour of repaying the dues quickly, MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari said that this will lead to a surge in job opportunities. “I would like to thank Nirmala Sitharaman. The measures taken by her will be quite beneficial for the MSME sector,” added Gadkari.

In a tweet, he welcomed the decisions taken by the Finance Minister and said “this will boost the MSME sector and will be instrumental in increasing job opportunities”.

The government would also consider amending the MSME Act to move towards a single definition. Gadkari said this was under “serious consideration” and a decision will be taken in the next 10-15 days.

Speaking earlier at a press conference to announce measures to boost growth, Sitharaman said the decision on recommendations of the U K Sinha Committee regarding ease of credit, marketing, technology and delayed payments to MSMEs will be taken within 30 days.

She further said that to take advantage of liquidity with the public sector banks (PSBs) and last mile customer connect of NBFCs, the state-run lenders will fast track collaboration for loans to MSMEs.

The MSME sector, which accounts for about 29 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), is one of the largest job creators in the country.

(With agency inputs)