Arm Twisting Tactics!
Further to my blog on long overdue payments the previous week, I must share with all of you the arm twisting tactics that a premier shipping company's particular branch office, has tried to use on its suppliers.
To get you upto speed :
We have been suppliers to this esteemed company for over 50 years.
We have supplied equipment like Radars, BNWAS, Navigation and Communication equipment, EPIRB and SART, Liferafts and rendered services that covers our full suite of marine services - gyro servicing, electronic servicing, SRT surveys, lifeboat and liferaft servicing, EPIRB and SART servicing including firefighting servicing and Pyrotechnic disposal to their vessels across India, including in Portblair. And now we also cater to their vessels in the UAE.
The officers in Mumbai are very decent and it is normally a pleasure and a privilege to interact with the Mumbai team but the Portblair and Kolkata team - perhaps due to the ridiculous procedures; are a nightmare to deal with.
Most of our PortBlair bills remain unpaid for over six months due to an incredibly lengthy and painful procedure of bills being tossed between Portblair and Kolkata and then back to the Portblair office for final settlement. And again, needless to mention, we are indeed lucky if the bills are not lost in transit.
What now takes the cake; is a message from a particular officer who has a reputation for withholding payment and haranguing suppliers, saying that due to the introduction of GST; all bills which have been raised six months ago with Service Tax and which still remain unpaid by the Company (due to their not having adequate resources to pay; be it in terms of man power to process the bills or cash flow), need to be revised with an in-built voluntary discount of 15% by the supplier to the Company.
The Company needs the bills to be reduced voluntarily by us, to the extent of 15% since the Company will be losing out on the benefit of input credit of Service Tax, which is no longer available with the introduction of GST.
The fact that Service Tax has been paid to the Government at the time of issuing the bill by the Supplier is of no consequence.
Instead of being apologetic for the delay in payment we are being told that either we accept the 15% discount or else we take the highway !
Verbally our representative was told very nonchalantly by the officer - go to court etc no difference!!
This attitude is especially sad since the delay of payment is on the part of the Company which is why they could not take advantage of input credit of Service Tax and are losing out; due to introduction of GST.
It may be noted that we have served this Company for over 50 years but never have such arm twisting tactics been applied.
In fact the company is one I often refer to as " Mother of all shipping companies" and we treat it not only with respect but even a lot of love.
It is always been a Company having the highest morale fibre and integrity and sense of fairness.
It is very shocking that today such an attitude is being taken against a long standing, loyal and committed supplier.
I have taken the liberty of raising this issue to the top echelons of power in the Company and I am hopeful that a sense of fair play and justice will eventually prevail in this very revered Company !
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