Decided on October 15,2020

Sona Spun Pipe Industries Ltd Appellant
State Of Odisha, Msme Department Respondents


Mohammad Rafiq, C.J. - (1.) This writ petition has been filed by M/s. Sona Spun Pipe Industries Ltd. challenging the order under Annexure-12 dated 31.08.2018 passed by the Additional Chief Secretary to the Government of Odisha in the Department of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (hereinafter referred to as MSME ) whereby the application of the petitioner for inclusion of Asbestos Cement Pressure Pipe in the rate contract list for MSMEs, has been rejected. The petitioner has prayed to quash the said impugned order under Annexure-12 and to issue a writ of mandamus directing the opposite parties to approve the product of the petitioner for inclusion in the rate contract.
(2.) The case of the petitioner is that the petitioner is a limited liability Partnership Firm registered under the Indian Partnership Act, 1932, having its registered Office as well as the Factory at Gopiballavpur Road, Bankisole, Baripada in the district of Mayurbhanj. The petitioner purchased a sick unit from Odisha State Financial Corporation, Cuttack. The petitioner, being an MSME unit manufacturing Asbestos Cement Pressure Pipes (AC Pressure Pipes) was duly registered with the Directorate of Export Promotion & Marketing (hereinafter in short referred to as the DEP&M ), Odisha-opposite party No.2, for marketing assistance. The petitioner industry was registered with the Director of Industries and was granted DIC Production Certificate, Pollution Clearance and BUS marketing. The petitioner vide application dated 09.11.2027 under Anexure-1, applied to the DEP&Mopposite party No.2 for inclusion of its product i.e. AC Pressure Pipes in store item under the Rules for Rate Contract with Micro and Small Enterprises of Odisha, 2014 (hereinafter in short referred to as the Rules, 2014 ). According to the petitioner, after receipt of the said application, the appropriate Sub-Committee of EP & M constituted by the State Government selected the item of the petitioner for inclusion in Rate contract and accordingly the opposite party No.2 sent the proposal to the opposite party No.1 vide letter dated 26.12.2017 under Annexure-2 series for approval. As per the petitioner, the opposite party No.1 was required to give approval immediately enabling the DEP&M to issue the Rate Contract within sixty days from the date of application as per the EP&M Manual. The Additional Secretary of the opposite party No.1 by letter dated 06.02.2018 asked the opposite party No.2 as to how many MSME Units in Odisha are producing Asbestos Cement Pressure Pipes as per standard IS:1592/2003. Upon receipt of the said letter, the O.P. No.2 vide letter dated 15.02.2018 in turn required the Director of Industries and Directorate of Bureau of Indian Standard to intimate the details of MSME Units in respect of store items of AC Pressure Pipes. The Bureau of Indian Standard vide its letter dated 19.02.2018 conveyed the opposite party No.2 that the petitioner is the only unit in Odisha which is producing AC pressure pipes. Accordingly, the opposite party No.2 vide letter dated 04.04.2018 (Annexure-6) communicated the said information to the opposite party No.1 that petitioner is the only unit in the State of Odisha which manufacturing the said item. According to the petitioner, the opposite party No.1 due to gross malafide reasons kept the matter pending. It is stated by the petitioner that it has invested more than Rs.150.00 lakhs for production of AC Pressure Pipes and due to such inaction of the opposite parties the petitioner firm has sustained heavy loss. It is further submitted that for the rate contract Govt. requirement of minimum Rs.2.00 lacs is necessary and the Engineer in Chief, Rural Water Supply & Sanitation (RWSS) Department vide letter dated 21.11.2017 (Annexure-7) has confirmed the requirement of Rs.44.64 lakhs in total per annum to the Directorate of EP & M., which is much more than the minimum requirement.
(3.) It is alleged by the petitioner that though the O.P. No.2 with the approval of O.P. No.1 has renewed the rate contract in favour of different units on 17.03.2018, 19.03.2018 and 24.05.2018 and has also approved the fresh rate contract of one unit on 24.05.2018, but it did not take any decision on the petitioner's matter. Therefore, the petitioner approached this Court by way of filing W.P.(C) No. 10707 of 2018 seeking issuance of a direction to opposite party No.1 to approve the product of the petitioner for inclusion in the rate contract. This Court by order dated 12.07.2018 disposed of the said writ petition with the following direction : Heard learned counsel for the petitioner as well as learned Addl. Government Advocate appearing for the State-opposite parties. Though an application has been filed by the opposite parties seeking two months time to file counter affidavit, but as instructions have been received, learned Addl. Government Advocate has consented for disposal of this writ petition at this stage. The petitioner is registered as a small-scale industry and is claiming benefit under the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Scheme of the State Government. The petitioner-firm produces Asbestos cement pressure pipes and is seeking its inclusion as an item in the rate contract. It is not disputed that the State Government is promoting the small scale industries through the MSME scheme. It is not understood as to why the decision on the application of the petitioner has not been taken by 5the opposite parties, especially when recommendation has already been made by the opposite party No.2 in the case of the petitioner. Learned Addl. Government Advocate states that the final decision has to be taken by the opposite party No.1-Additional Chief Secretary, MSME Department, Govt. of Odisha, Bhubaneswar. In such view of the matter, we dispose of the writ petition with a direction that opposite party No.1 shall take a final decision in the case of the petitioner (which has already been recommended by opposite party No.2) as expeditiously as possible, but not later than four weeks from the filing of certified copy of this order. It is made clear that in case the recommendation of opposite party No.2 is not accepted, opposite party No.1 shall pass a reasoned and speaking order, in accordance with law. With the aforesaid observation and direction, the writ petition stands disposed of.;

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